'Studio On The Avenue' Creates A New Buzz In Heart Of The Community

LARCHMONT-MAMARONECK, NY — On a rainy Saturday morning, the marquee at the Mamaroneck Cinemas heralds the coming of something even bigger than the latest blockbuster.

Neighbors now have a brand new way to connect to each other and help steer the direction of their community. And, best of all, we only have to stroll along Mamaroneck Avenue to find that connection.

Despite the weather, it was standing room only as LMC Media officially opened its new state-of-the-art “Studio on the Avenue.” There was a who’s who of local celebrities on the red carpet to celebrate the long-anticipated opening.

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Those elected officials on hand credited LMC, in large part, for that celebrity. The residents of the Village of Mamaroneck, Village of Larchmont and Town of Mamaroneck are unusually engaged in their municipal governments and residents can easily keep up with the workings of their local governments thanks to LMC coverage.

Perhaps even more important were the civic leaders on hand. Non-profit leaders said LMC has supported their missions for decades and see the new studio as an opportunity for the community media outlet to make even more of an impact.

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LMC was already the envy of municipalities around the country, but the new facility gives the organization a much higher profile physical presence. That same excitement that we get when we see the LMC van at the Firefighters’ Carnival, the farmers market or at Playland can now be experienced anytime we peer into the giant display window and see the “recording” light on above the control panel.

LMC Executive Director Matt Sullivan said that the day was the culmination of a lot of work by countless supporters. Not the least of which was figuring out how to keep the sounds of a bustling Mamaronck Avenue out of the studio space. Sullivan praised the family-owned American Cinemas for being, “more than just a landlord, but a partner.”

He saved his greatest adulation for the volunteers that LMC depends on.

“They are a small, but mighty group,” Sullivan said. “They work hard because they love this community.”

As the new studio becomes a part of the fabric of daily life in the community, more and more people will discover what dozens of graduating classes in the Mamaroneck and Rye Neck Union Free School Districts learned firsthand — LMC is more than just a channel on the television. It’s a resource available to all that is designed to be used to learn and grow.

And that lesson was already being taught before the new studio even opened as a studio engineer helped a pair of school-age children to use the control board to zoom the camera and change the lighting. The young “producers” might not grow up to find jobs in the industry, but based on the broad smiles on their faces, the unforgettable experience will foster a lifelong love of the creativity of multimedia.

You don’t need to be an adorable youngster to get the VIP treatment at the Studio on The Avenue, the space conceived as a community resource as well a working production faculty. LMC Media members will get a complimentary hour of studio time each month to learn, experiment and create.

The new public-facing facility will also fill the hole left with the loss of broadcasters like WVOX.

The “Balance Dilemma” podcast will be among the first to use LMC Media’s new podcast studio to tape an episode. The popular podcast began as a radio show on WVOX, but has had to switch gears since the station’s demise.

Sullivan said the studio opening comes at a critical time for the organization — a time when cable license fees, LMC’s primary funding source, are dwindling as more and more people “cut the cords.”

LMC has had to get creative to replace that lost revenue. Its annual fundraising events, like the annual awards gala and the summer Tiki party on the beach, have become among the biggest social events on the Sound Shore. However, the group’s future might depend more on being seen as an indispensable community service.

LMC has already proven itself to be an essential service, like trash collection, sewers, schools or police — after all, those municipal services depend on local government working for its citizens and that government depends on transparency and an engaged constituency. With the opening of the Studio on the Avenue, more people than ever before will have a chance to see that mission in action and be a part of the valuable work being done.

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