The Sunshine Cinema Dedicates Marquee to Its Fallen Comrade
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The Sunshine Cinema marquee remains in a state of mourning. For the last couple months, a memorial message has taken the place of movie titles playing inside. The lettering reads simply, “Rest in Peace Russell Tovig.”
We are told that Russell Tovig was a beloved member of the Landmark Theaters team. Having functioned as longtime maintenance man, he was apparently instrumental in the reopening of the film house back in 2001. The parent company spent some $12 million at the time to restore the facility.
Tovig passed away from cancer at the age of 45 in early August. As to how long the tribute will remain, a rep from Landmark tells us, “We have no plans to remove it at this time, so for the forseeable future.”
Meanwhile, deep-pocketed suitors are swarming the 116–year-old Sunshine facility due to its positioning as a “development opportunity.” Built in 1898, 139-143 East Houston has unofficially been on the open market since last May for $35 million. As reported, 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.