The SAG-AFTRA Foundation will open a new screening room and educational space in New York City on October 5 that will be named the Robin Williams Center for Actors, Broadcasters and Recording Artists in honor of the late actor-comedian.
The space, located at 247 W. 54th St. between 8th Avenue and Broadway, will offer free educational programming to more than 40,000 actors, broadcasters and recording artists in the New York metro area. It will be the permanent home of the foundation’s Conversations and The Business programs and will extend resources of the EIF Voiceover Lab, an on-camera lab, a computer lab and classroom already housed at its 1900 Broadway offices.
A 154-seat, 4000-square-foot theater will feature a 4K HD Christie Digital Cinema projection system and surround sound and a 25-foot-wide screen. It also boasts multi-camera live stream broadcast and recording capabilities. When the foundation is not programming in the space, the center will be made available for rental.
The opening on October 5 will feature a celebration of Williams’ work, including a screening of a 2013 Conversation with him. A panel will follow with Hank Azaria, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Bonnie Hunt and Barry Levinson.
“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,” said foundation president JoBeth Williams. “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.
“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.”
The foundation has begun a capital campaign to fund the building and operations costs for the duration of the 20-year lease.