Sayville Theater to be restored

New owners promise ‘amazing cinematic experience’

Sam Desmond
Posted 2/16/23

Devin Fickling’s earliest memories are of helping his family operate the Sayville Theater:   sweeping up popcorn, collecting ticket stubs, greeting community members.

“It was …

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Sayville Theater to be restored

New owners promise ‘amazing cinematic experience’

Posted

Devin Fickling’s earliest memories are of helping his family operate the Sayville Theater:  sweeping up popcorn, collecting ticket stubs, greeting community members.

“It was really something that was a big part of my childhood,” said Fickling. “I remember when there were huge blockbusters, we would come in and help and clean up.”

Fickling’s parents have managed the Sayville Theater at various times in the past 20 years and are the current landlords-turned-owners of the establishment as of Friday, Feb. 10.

Wanting to make their vision known as soon as possible, Fickling went to Sayville Happenings and History, a local Facebook group with nearly 8,000 members, and wrote an open letter to the community.

“We’d like to give a positive update regarding the Sayville Theater [and will] reopen as soon as possible,” opened Fickling’s post. “We have been a part of the Sayville community for over 30 years.”

Over the next few months, Fickling said that the theater would undergo a “deep clean.” This was confirmed by the community, with Patrick Rueb, a Sayville native and Blue Point resident, commenting, “The smell of urine is why I stopped going.”

Fickling went on to pledge, “We assure you that renovations and repairs will take place over the next couple months to give you the best experience possible. We will strive to be one of the best movie theaters on Long Island. We love this community and are so grateful for all your love and support.”

While the theater is open to new staff, Fickling said they “would welcome previous employees with open arms.”

The Fickling family are commercial landlords and own various properties in Sayville. Throughout the last 10 years, they have renovated Section 8 housing into luxury, pet-friendly abodes throughout Sayville with stores beneath them. This past weekend, the Fickling family celebrated the store opening of a new client, Babe Aesthetics, in downtown Sayville.

“A lot of things have changed with time, including cell phones and Netflix, but we want to keep going to [the] theater for generations of the community to have amazing cinematic experiences,” said Fickling.

The structure of the theater will stay the same as the four sections, but will feature state-of-the-art digital displays and possibly stadium seating.

“We have a vision for the future that involves live events, including theater, community gatherings, music, performances,” said Fickling, who said he has already started to make plans with Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce president, Eileen Tyznar.

“Keeping the Sayville Theater open is of utmost importance, as it is a gathering hub for children and adults the same.  The theater is also a piece of history in Sayville and needs to remain a constant landmark in our small town,” said Tyznar.

The theater will also sell beer and wine, while maintaining a family and kid-friendly atmosphere. The low prices, the biggest draw of the theater, will remain the same for some time, but Fickling did say a “small increase” will be inevitable with the renovations.

“We want to keep that vintage feel,” said Fickling.

Dave Prunier, owner of the nearby Sayville Athletic Club, has already pledged to work with Fickling and “make the cinematic experience great,” proposing possible pre- or post-movie dinner specials.

Fickling’s father and great-aunt Cecile (a Sayville resident and high school graduate, born in 1918) purchased the building the theater inhabits around the late ‘80s, early ‘90s.

“Expect the latest and greatest first-run films and that classic cinematic experience,” said Fickling. “We’ll keep it fairly simple: top-tier service, good concessions, clean theater with great vibes.”