It’s Still Not Looking Good for the Landmark Sunshine Cinema on East Houston
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There are rumblings around the potential sale of the Landmark Sunshine Cinema once again.
As we’ve mentioned in the past, the historic theater at 139-143 East Houston has been shopped around for well over a year. And now, with the Metrograph Theater capping the other end of the neighborhood, it doesn’t look particularly encouraging for a lease renewal. Sunshine’s annual rent is around $200,000; offsetting that crazy amount with a liquor license was nixed by Community Board 3, which was hesitant to approve the request for such a large location.
Concern over the fate of the theater is less about a new suitor occupying the premises, but much ado about the 1898 building being razed for a new high rise. Naturally. President of Landmark Theaters Ted Mundorff told IndieWire that transforming a theater into a high rise is no easy task. “It would take years for anyone who’s going to pay the kind of money they’re looking for to demolish [the building] and construct something,” he said. “At this point I don’t see any imminent danger of us leaving the property.”
And yet, the way things are fast tracked in the name of luxury development in these parts make the prior statement seem more a hopeful sentiment than realistic expectation. According to the property report, the parcel carries roughly 44,500 buildable square-feet, or 56,000 square-feet with the inclusionary housing bonus.
For now, Sunshine’s lease remains intact through 2018.