SAG-AFTRA Foundation to Open Robin Williams Center in New York
Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg are among those who will celebrate the late comedian when the new theater named after him opens Oct. 5.
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s new screening room and educational space in New York City is set to open on Oct. 5 with a celebration of Robin Williams, for whom the new facility is named.
Dubbed the Robin Williams Center for Actors, Broadcasters and Recording Artists, its 154-seat, 4,000-square-foot theater is equipped with a 25-foot-wide cinema screen, state-of-the-art video streaming technology, including 4K HD Christie Digital Cinema projection and surround sound, and fully programmable theatrical lighting, which will enable it to host screening events. It also has multi-camera live stream broadcast and recording capabilities. The Center is located at at 247 West 54th Street between 8th Avenue and Broadway,
Its Oct. 5 opening will be marked by a celebration of Williams’ work, featuring the screening of a “Conversation with Robin Williams” that took place at the Foundation in Los Angeles in 2003. Following the screening, a panel the late performer’s friends and colleagues including Hank Azaria, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Bonnie Hunt and writer/director Barry will discuss Willaims’ work and legacy.
“The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is a national organization and we’ve been serving union performers all over the country with our free programs and resources for more than 30 years. However, with the opening of the incredible Robin Williams Center, we now have two permanent and state-of-the-art homes for actors, broadcasters and recording artists on both coasts,” JoBeth Williams, president of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, said. “The opening of this Center is truly the culmination of a dream. The other part of that dream is to be able to name our new home in honor of Robin Williams, a brilliant artist and compassionate man, who represented the very best in all of us as a performer and as a person. ”
Subsequent events scheduled for the Center will include a Tom Brokaw career retrospective and other programming featuring prominent actors, broadcasters and recording. All events will be recorded and posted to the Foundation’s YouTube channel and website (sagaftra.foundation/video-gallery).
In addition to offering educational programming to more than 40,000 actors, broadcasters and recording artists in the New York metro area, the Center will become the permanent home to the Foundation’s Conversations and The Business programs, and it will also serve as an extension of the Foundation’s already existing free resources for SAG-AFTRA members — the EIF Voiceover Lab, an on-camera lab, a computer lab and classroom — housed within their New York office at 1900 Broadway.
The Foundation has kicked off a capital campaign to fund the building and the cost of operations for the duration of the Center's 20-year-lease.