After what Suffolk Theater co-owner Bob Castaldi half-jokingly described as "80 years" in the making, he and his wife Dianne cut the ribbon the Main Street anchor on Friday morning, the day before its grand opening is scheduled.
"This little theater survived against all odds and it was restored against all odds" said Bob. "We were in front, but there were lot of people behind us."
He went off to name several governmental agencies who helped them along the way – most of whom were in attendance at the cutting, from town, county and state levels – as well as the construction crews led by general contractor Frank Sommers that "worked late and worked on weekends to get us through."
Over 100 people attended the ribbon cutting downtown, with police shutting down Main Street as some couple took advantage of the space, dancing to the jazz tunes of the Sunnyland Jazz Band before the ribbon cutting ceremonies kicked off.
Most speakers noted that beyond the opening of the theater itself, the importance for Riverhead's Main Street and downtown as a whole could not be understated.
"These two individuals had a vision. They didn’t see what others see," said Supervisor Sean Walter. "They didn’t see what was across street and say, 'This isn’t going to work.' They saw something great. They saw the future of the town, the future of the theater and quite frankly, the future of their family."
Festivities at the Suffolk Theater begin on Saturday, with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks kicking things off at 6 p.m. An after party follows at 9 p.m., and joint tickets are available for both, or tickets to just the after party are available as well. Visit the Suffolk Theater website for more information.