Report: Sunshine Cinema Being Shopped as ‘Development Site’ for $35M

Posted on: May 8th, 2015 at 12:39 pm by

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There is one movie theater currently on the Lower East Side (south of Houston), and its future seems pretty shaky. A nasty rumor is going around that the Sunshine Cinema at 139-143 East Houston is being shopped around as a development site. Meaning, sunset on the horizon.

The Real Deal reported the chatter this morning, noting that the property owners are looking to fetch more than $35 million.

The news is shocking, yes, but not totally out of the ordinary. Landmark Theaters, operator of the Sunshine, were previously struggling to keep up with maintaining this location. Mainly due to the rising rents. That was the impetus behind a liquor license application three years ago to convert the movie house into a dining destination much like Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg. Those plans were nixed by Community Board 3, which was hesitant to approve a full liquor license for such a large location.

139-143 East Houston was built in 1898. According to the report, the parcel carries roughly 44,500 buildable square-feet, or 56,000 square-feet with the inclusionary housing bonus.

Sunshine’s lease lasts through 2018.

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