Academy and Lighthouse pact for theater

New ten-year deal covers upgrades and refurbishments

By Gregg Kilday

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has struck a new, ten-year deal with Lighthouse International, the New York-based nonprofit whose building on East 59th St. houses the theater used by the Academy.
The agreement provides an East Coast office for the Academy and covers plans to upgrade the lobby and theater, which will be renamed The Academy Theater at Lighthouse International.

Under the new contract, which extends and expands a seven-year relationship between the two organizations, the Academy will complete the upgrade of the theater’s projection and sound systems to allow for digital and 3-D presentations, as well as 35 mm projection.

Lighthouse, through a contribution from Charles S. Cohen, a member of its board of directors, and his wife, Clo Cohen, will upgrade the 236-seat theater and lobby area with new furnishings, carpets and wall coverings. The renovation will begin on March 1 and be completed by late spring when the theater will be officially renamed.

Theater designer Theo Kalomirakis will provide the design services for the facility.
Lighthouse president and CEO Mark G. Ackermann said, “This new arrangement solidifies our relationship to the benefit of both organizations and enables us to greatly improve our facility for the Academy as well as for other organizations. We are deeply grateful to Charles Cohen and his wife Clo for their vision, support and generous contribution that have made this all possible. Lighthouse International will now be able to attract studio and other screenings as well as provide outstanding conference facilities throughout the year.”
Bud Rosenthal, chairman of the Academy’s New York events committee, added,” We’re very pleased to be able to provide our East Coast members with a well-located, top-notch facility for our Academy screenings, industry tributes, Student Academy Awards, monthly ‘Monday Nights with Oscar’ program and many other events. We’re also proud to continue our association with Lighthouse International, which does such wonderful work in the field of vision loss.”