Saying Goodbye to the Sunshine Cinema Before its Imminent Demolition
Ain’t no sunshine when it’s gone. Nor light from that fabulous marquee.
Landmark Theaters’ Sunshine Cinema ended its Lower East Side tenure Sunday night after nearly two decades on East Houston Street.
We paid a visit on the penultimate night, and it was mobbed with moviegoers getting their last licks before another neighborhood favorite meets the wrecking ball. The air was somber, and the elephant loomed large in the room with closure the topic of conversation. Employees held it together, despite being in a “lame duck” position, explaining why concessions were priced half-off and many beverages out of stock.
The future of this sacred space was found out 24 hours later; this restored 1898 theater will be destroyed for something more befitting the area these days. A nine-story glass monstrosity custom-built for “boutique” office space.
As previously reported, East End Capital and K Property Group purchased the property from Landmark Theaters in May 2017 for a reported $31.5 million.
“We’re big fans of the Lower East Side,” Mr. Yormak told the New York Times yesterday. “It really needs more 9-to-5 activity and it tends to be very active, obviously, on a night life basis. We believe there is a real demand for office space and for people to work there during the day.”
The new “boutique” office building is designed by Roger Ferris and marketed toward “small to midsize companies.” Demolition should commence in March, with an estimated completion date of “late 2019.”
The elegant theater building was built in 1898. It was restored to a movie theater in 2001.