SAG-AFTRA Foundation to honor Robin Williams with center in New York

Robin Williams is seen on screen as Billy Crystal speaks during an In Memoriam tribute during the Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on August 25, 2014. SAG-AFTRA have announced a new Robwin Williams Center set to open in New York City. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

NEW YORK, Sept. 23 (UPI) — The SAG-AFTRA Foundation have announced their plans to name an upcoming screening room and educational center in New York City after late actor Robin Williams.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the facility which will be dubbed the Robin Williams Center for Actors, Broadcasters and Recording Artists, will house a 4,000-square-foot theater complete with a 25-foot-wide screen, 4K HD Digital projection, surround sound and theatrical lighting.

The center will also be able to live stream events with broadcasting and recording capabilities using a multi-camera setup. The plan is to use the building to offer free educational programming to more than 40,000 actors, broadcasters and recording artists.

Set to open on Oct. 5, the center will be located at 247 West 54th Street between 8th Avenue and Broadway.

“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. 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,” noted the organizations president JoBeth Williams in a statement.

“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,” she continued.

The Oct. 5 opening will feature a screening of a “Conversation with Robin Williams,” a special that took place at SAG-AFTRA’s Los Angeles based location. Afterwards, a collection of Williams’ friends including Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Hank Azaria and Bonnie Hunt will discuss the comedian’s work and legacy.

Williams died by suicide at the age of 63 in August of 2014. His wife Susan Schneider later revealed that he was struggling with Lewy Body Dementia, a neurodegenerative disease that causes rapid cognitive decline and impairment of motor function.


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