Celebrating the centennial of the famed Hollywood studio.

Starts April 19th with a “Focus on Film Noir

and continues throughout 2024


Sag Harbor, NY Following the success of last year’s centennial celebration of Warner Bros, Sag Harbor Cinema will look back at the first 100 years of another essential American Hollywood studio: Columbia Pictures.

Opening the Columbia Picture centennial celebration will be a one week special Focus on Film Noir, including works by legendary filmmakers Nicholas Ray (In a Lonely Place, 1950), Fritz Lang (The Big Heat, 1953 and Human Desire, 1954) and Orson Welles (The Lady from Shanghai, 1947), with stars like Rita Hayworth, Gloria Grahame, Humphrey Bogart and Glenn Ford; as well as more rare titles by lesser known masters of the genre such as Joseph Lewis, Irving Lerner, Gordon Douglas and Phil Karlson.  


‘In a Lonely Place’ — Gloria Grahame and Humphrey Bogart


“The centennial is a perfect excuse to explore Columbia’s fascinating history, from its origins on Hollywood’s Poverty Row to the present. And I particularly cherish the opportunity to spotlight the studio’s great “crime films” of the 40s and 50s – in all their exciting mix of existential dread and stylistic ingenuity. They really pack a punch. B- movies were the bread and butter of the studio, with directors like Lewis, Karlson and Douglas making several films per year with very little money but great creative vision,” says Sag Harbor Cinema’s Artistic Director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan.


‘The Lady from Shanghai’–Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles 


Founded as CBC in 1918 by brothers Harry and Jack Cohn, together with business partner Joe Brandt, the studio became Columbia Pictures in 1924. Occasionally labeled as one of “the little three” among Hollywood’s eight studios, Columbia was initially known for short films and low budget featurettes. However, by the 30s, it had solidified its reputation in the industry as the home of high profile director Frank Capra, who won six Best Director Oscars for films like It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and It’s A Wonderful Life (1947), as well as for a stable of stars like Rita Hayworth, Cary Grant, Carole Lombard and Jean Arthur.

Under the reign of Harry Cohn (who would run the studio for 34 years as Head of Production), Columbia developed a reputation of smart budgeting and sharp humor. To Paramount’s and MGM’s more lavish “sophisticated comedies”, Cohn’s studio responded with the more subversive spirit of screwballs. Highlights of the genre include Twentieth Century (1934), His Girl Friday (1940) and The Awful Truth (1937). And while Warner Bros. had captured the essence of Depression era America through its groundbreaking gangster films, Columbia found inspiration in the country’s postwar gloom and the restless shadows of Film Noir.

The Focus On Noir program will start Friday, April 19th and continue through the weekend, with second screenings showing during the following week through Thursday, April 25th. Special guests Paul Schrader, cinematographer Fred Murphy, and Michael Barker (Co-Founder and Co-President of Sony Picture Classics) will make introductions and participate in Q&As during the weekend.

The Columbia Pictures retrospective will run throughout the year, spanning a wide variety of titles from the Studio’s rich history. From the grand spectacle of the 50s and 60s with films like The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), On the Waterfront (1954), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Dr. Strangelove (1964) and Funny Girl; to the New Hollywood revolution of the 70s that brought Shampoo (1975), Taxi Driver (1976), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Midnight Express (1978), and Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979); to the 80s blockbusters like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Ghostbusters (1984); to the creation of Sony Pictures Classics in the early 90s; and finally crossing over into independent arthouse films while still producing franchise films like James Bond and Spider-Man through the 00s, 10s and up to today.


Tickets for the screening and events will be available on the cinema’s website:



As a not-for-profit 501(c)3, community-based organization, Sag Harbor Cinema is dedicated to presenting the past, present and future of the Movies and to preserving and educating about films, filmmaking, and the film-going experience in its three state-of-the-art theaters. The Cinema engages its audiences and the community year-round through dialogue, discovery, and appreciation of the moving image – from blockbusters to student shorts and everything in between. Revitalized and reimagined through unprecedented community efforts to rebuild the iconic Main Street structure after a fire nearly destroyed it in 2016, SHC continues a long historic tradition of entertainment in the heart of Sag Harbor Village. SHC Members enjoy discounts on tickets and merchandise and have access to our member-only rooftop lounge, The Green Room.



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