The Hamptons Police Department responded Friday to complaints in Sag Harbor of a man loitering in front of the now vacant lot where the entrance to the Sag Harbor Cinema used to be, before it was destroyed by fire.
According to Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch, the complaints police received alleged that the man had been standing in front of the cordoned-off area continuously for at least two days.
“It was pretty chilly,” Hirsch says, “and this guy didn’t even go away at night. We don’t really know how he did it.”
While his continuous presence in the area raised suspicions among the police and the general population, Hirsch observed that the man appeared to be calm and did not harass anyone on the street. Nevertheless, police took the precaution of questioning the man, and discovered to their surprise that he was, in fact, waiting in line for movie tickets.
“The gentleman was obviously aware that the theater was not currently operational,” Hirsch says, “but he apparently wants to be the first in line for tickets when it reopens. Not only does he love the place, but he figured a lot of hoopla would surround the reopening of the Sag Harbor Cinema, and he wanted to be in on it.”
While the police appreciated the man’s commitment to his goal, they were eventually able to get him to leave by persuading him that the theater might not reopen for quite a long time, and that he might die of exposure waiting for that day to come.