At the Dan’s Best of the Best reception Friday evening, Dan’s Papers caught up with Sean Walter, the town supervisor of Riverhead, who told us how excited he was that the annual event came to Suffolk Theater this year.
“It is absolutely amazing to me that you folks chose Riverhead,” Walter told Dan’s.
“What you have done by selecting Riverhead is opened this theater up—which is probably one of the most stunning theaters in all of Suffolk County, if not all of Long Island—to people that wouldn’t normally come to Riverhead,” he said. “And every time someone comes to this theater, their eyes are opened; they’re in awe at what it is.”
Walter said that if the newcomers saw what the venue looked like before the new owners, the Castaldis, renovated the 1933 Art Deco theater, they would want to give the Castaldis a kiss, “because they have done an amazing job.” The Suffolk Theater was reopened earlier this year after lying dormant for more than two decades.
“I guarantee you that there is somebody in this audience who is going to leave this theater and say, ‘I’m going to buy a building in Riverhead and renovate it,” Walter said, citing his block-by-block, store-by-store approach to revitalizing downtown Riverhead.
Of the Best of the Best reception, the supervisor said, “I come in here and I don’t recognize anyone and that’s fantastic, because that means you guys are drawing from a crowd that we don’t normally get and I thank you for that.”
Walter said he was also excited when he saw the cover of the November 8 issue of Dan’s Papers. It was the Best of the Best winner issue, and the cover art was a painting of Suffolk Theater by Randolph Smith. “The painting is stunning,” he said.