Sunshine Cinema

143 E. Houston Street,
New York, NY 10002

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Showing 51 - 75 of 93 comments

CelluloidFiend on June 4, 2007 at 8:02 pm

Gosh Ms. Action Jackson, what a reactionary you are. You have absolutley failed to understand what I was trying to convey in my blog as well as demonstrated to all that are reading you possess a total lack of intellect and on top of that be a bit of a bigot yourself by the assumptions you’ve made about me. To set the record straight, I didn’t just come from Des Moines or Middle America or any Red State and I’ve lived in the Tri-State area for a good portion of my life. In my blog I never mentioned anything about the ethnicity of the staff at Sunshine but the inappropriate manner in which some of them conducted themselves. Movie Theatres are a business and with any other business you want to make sure you have the best possible staff and know how to behave appropriately. I’m sure if you ran a theatre you wouldn’t want your employees showing up to work with a rag and shoe lace on their heads. I’m sure you wouldn’t be happy about the disgusting washrooms or popcorn scattered everywhere while your staff chooses to lounge around screaming, cursing and playing games. And I really doubt you’d be pleased if someone were making advances on your boyfriend or husband right in front of you while he’s just tring to order you popcorn and soda. You can’t possibly believe that’s a proper way to run a business. And as for the “N” word, even if it’s among African-Americans, it’s not very professional to speak in that kind of language in the work place. Do what you want in your home but the rest of us don’t want to be subjected to that kind of garbage.

mslisa on May 19, 2007 at 7:36 pm

Celluloid Fiend
Where are you from? Des Moines? I think the exotic urban landscape of NYC has you tripped out. I’m a (gasp) black woman with tattoos and piercings and I’ve never been incarcerated, on parole, or on welfare, but I can be loud! wink Not all black folks are bangers and slangers! I’m sure most the staff intend a life beyond taring theater tickets for you. And the so-called n-word is a common idiom such as ‘dude’ is to white boys. So what do you call that? The D-word? I have another one. Peckerwood.

CarrMiguel on May 18, 2007 at 2:31 pm

I like the facade of this place, and its over-all structure. You could see the old ceilings on the 3rd floor which are reinforced by metal beams. Cool blow-up posters of the greats, on their walls by the stairs. Stadium seats are definitely a plus. Do they have stadium seating only in their downstairs theater? The theaters on the 3rd floor weren’t. Hands down, best projection I’ve seen in the city in years, arthouse or multiplex!

CelluloidFiend on May 3, 2007 at 6:30 am

Recently I went to the Sunshine Cinemas for the first time in a while and was shocked to see how sloppy and disorganized everyone was. I knew I was in trouble when my date and I approached the concession stand and the attandant started hitting on her. Totally disrespectful and akward. Then we were given the wrong directions by the ticket ripper who didn’t seem to know which movies were playing where. Later on I witnessed two employees in a waiting area playing video games and fixing each other’s hair. On our way out through the lobby ushers were lounging around talking out loud yelling swear and racial slurs like the “N” word. Also, I noticed the appearance of piercings, tattoos and gang gear like silk rags on their heads. The first time I went to the Sunshine the staff was clean. couteous and knowledgeable. Now it looks as though they’ve recruited the staff from a nearby correctional facility.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 14, 2006 at 6:29 am

Thanks Warren. I believe we have now solved this ‘other’ Houston Hippodrome Theatre. It must have been a live theatre known as the Houston Hippodrome, 67 E. Houston Street and by 1930 and into 1931 at least, had become a movie theatre known as the Houston Theatre with a seating capacity of 546. It should be added with its own page on CinemaTreasures.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 14, 2006 at 6:04 am

In the American Motion Picture Directory 1914-1915 the Houston Hippodrome, 141 E. Houston Street, Manhattan, NY is listed. This address is also listed as being the Sunshine Theatre in the Film Daily Yearbook’s;1926 & 1927 editions with a seating capacity of 600.

I can’t find another Houston Hippodrome Theatre, but in the 1930 edition of Film Daily Yearbook there is the Houston Theatre, 67 Houston Street, Manhattan, NY with a seating capacity of 546. This must be the Houston Hippodrome, 67 W. Houston Street in the photo that is for sale. It has gone from listings in 1941 which is the next year’s F.D.Y. that I have. Currently, I can’t see the Houston Theatre listed on this site. btw 67 W. Houston Street seems to be known as 159 Wooster Street nowadays!.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 14, 2006 at 4:48 am

Thank you Lost Memory. Looks like we have another mystery theatre if the ebay shot is really a Manhattan location.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 13, 2006 at 1:13 pm

Is this the old Houston Hippodrome?

View link

hardbop on April 26, 2006 at 8:31 am

I actually was sent six passes by Landmark (Damien) so it paid off. At $10.75 a movie that is a nice perk.

One quibble, Landmark certainly doesn’t empower its employees to make decisions. I used two this weekend, one Saturday and the other Sunday. I get there Saturday and the ticket taker/cashier/snack bar attendant (they multi-task at Landmark I guess) had “to ask her manager” before she could accept the pass.“ Sunday, the ticket taker/cashier/snack bar attendant said she "had to ask the manager” about my pass and then I had to sign my name to a form before I got my ticket. I felt like a criminal.

WilliamMurray on February 25, 2006 at 9:56 am

Having worked for Damien and The Sunshine Cinema back in 2001, I have the utmost respect for them and the Landmark Organization for getting it right in a niche market all across the country. They, like many other service oriented businesses, are constantly looking for the right people for the right position at a reasonable wage. NYC is a tough town to keep staff content, hospitable and productive. Technology is making things a little less personal in the theatre industry, and that is not to be taken lightly. One communicative floor person or one friendly snack bar attendant is worth more than three ineffective employees, so numbers don’t count. If technology is going to streamline operations and cut costs, so be it. Otherwise, the Sunshine may go back to being a four level warehouse for door parts.

ArchStanton007 on February 21, 2006 at 9:12 am

Nice that they resonded back to you…

Anytime I wrote to crappy Clearview Cinemas ( worst chain in Westchester County) a reply never came. And I had written to offer suggestions as opposed to criticisms, but still to no avail.
Yesterday I walked by Central Plaza Cinema, Yonkers and noticed paint stains on the poster cases that have been there ( not kidding) for at least one year. No point in saying anything, just thought about how wonderful a place it was under General Cinema.

At least Landmark cares…

hardbop on February 21, 2006 at 8:46 am

Here is the response from Landmark regarding the experience I had last week. I e-mailed them my complaints. My e-mail was sent to Landmark’s national site and it must have been routed to the Sunshine in NYC. Looks like they are going to “do the right thing.” But until I have the tickets in hand, I’ll reserve judgment. I received a similar response from someone at the Angelika who was all apologetic over a similar projection snafu, but I never received my promised tickets.

Dear Mr. xxxx,

I would like to apologize for your experiences at the Sunshine Cinema last Monday. It is my ongoing endeavor to provide the best movie going experience in the city and I am sorry to have so greatly failed to do so during your visit.

Please allow me to address the issues raised in your email:

  1. The improper positioning of the movie: This weekend, I spoke to the projectionist responsible for the presentation on Monday and she acknowledged both the error, which she’d noticed during the film’s closing credits, and the fact that she’d not waited for the start of the feature to ensure proper presentation quality (she’d left the booth during the trailers to start another film; this is personally my fault due to my inability to reach the theatre after Sunday’s snowfall; had I been there, she wouldn’t have needed to be so rushed). She has been reprimanded for both oversights.

  2. I cannot explain the lack of houselights when you entered the auditorium. Our lighting system is automated and, in this particular case, our projector must have failed to properly detect the “lights up” cue at the conclusion of the previous film. This is not, I can assure you, a common occurrence at the Sunshine.

  3. The failure of the on-duty usher to check the presentation has also been dealt with via disciplinary action.

  4. The theatre’s staffing: Staffing was actually normal for a wintertime Monday afternoon. Since installation of a new computer system a few months back, we’ve made the decision to sell tickets from our concession stand during off-peak periods. This has the benefits of A.) ensuring that patrons such as yourself never need conduct a ticketing transaction in cold/snow/rain/heat and B.) providing visitors to the theatre, who might not otherwise visit our concession stand, the opportunity to be exposed to some of our more eclectic food offerings, such as Japanese Pocky, vegan cookies, and wasabi peas. During peak periods of business, when we can’t accommodate both ticket and concession sales in the lobby, we still utilize our exterior box office. (Also note: The benefits listed are truly the only benefits we’re seeking to derive from this arrangement. We’re still scheduling both box office and concession attendants for these shifts, not just trying to save money on staffing.) (Should you ever encounter just one attendant, in all likelihood that attendant is “covering a break.”)

Again, please allow me apologize for the poor conditions noted in your email and thank you for bringing them to my attention. I take pride in the Sunshine’s reputation for excellence and am disappointed to have tarnished it. I’d like to request that you allow me the opportunity to do better by being my guest during a future visit. If you’d be willing to supply a mailing address, I would love the chance to prove that your last visit was a fluke by supplying you with some V.I.P. Guest Passes. Should you ever have anything you’d like to discuss during a future visit, or just want to say hi, please ask for me by name.

General Manager
Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema
143 East Houston Street

hardbop on February 15, 2006 at 6:21 am

No, this film was clearly not framed properly. The “missing part of the film” was showing on the black masking on the bottom. If they moved the film up it would have been ok.

William on February 14, 2006 at 8:16 am

Yes, the film is in scope. Most chains stopped installing 2.1 ratio screens instead of a full ratio scope screen. But there are still plexes that still run films to the public that way.

Mikeoaklandpark on February 14, 2006 at 7:56 am

Could it be the film was in scope an they don’t have scope screen? I say that because there is a theater here in Asheville( Regal Hollywood 14 which was oringally independantly owned by a family)that does not have scopr screens. I never liked that theater and Sat night I finally asked a manager if they had capability of showing scope and she said only in one theater. The other theaters were built with flat screens and you really loose the scope effect becuase anything extra is on the side walls and above the screen. I was pissed to say the least.

John Fink
John Fink on February 14, 2006 at 7:25 am

My experiences have been good there, but since its a Mark Cuban owned house…they better be able to do better than watching it in your living room on DVD or HD Net Movies….

I have always liked this house, I ussually go on weekends the crowds are good as are the staff and the seats are comfortable, it’s better than the Angelika (even though i have a soft spot for the Angelika for some reason). Even the most high-end movie houses can have their off days.

hardbop on February 14, 2006 at 4:55 am

I was down at the Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema yesterday and another projection disaster. There is all this hand-wringing in the movie industry about the decline in movie attendance/box office take and here is a reason why. I was in the big basement theatre yesterday to see THE WORLD’S FASTEST INDIAN and they didn’t frame the film correctly so there was about a foot of black at the top of the screen and the image bled onto the masking at the bottom. All this for $10.75.

And they didn’t even put the house lights up before the film so one had to negotiate steep stairs in pitch black to find a seat.

No usher walked through the theatre so to alert someone would have meant leaving the theatre, climbing a flight of stairs and then walking across the lobby to the candy stand, doubled as the box office yesterday because of short staffing. I would have missed too much of the movie to tell them to project the film properly.

I had the same problem at the Angelika last year. You think this kind of thing would occur in the soulless multiplexes, but to have it happen in an art house, it makes my blood boil.

No wonder people are staying at home watching the videos.

Judith Thissen
Judith Thissen on January 28, 2006 at 4:05 am

Charles Steiner and Abraham Minsky — the oldest of the famous Minsky burlesque brothers — opened the Houston Hippodrome in December 1909 as a Yiddish music hall. Minsky’s father and the notorious kosher chicken czar and Tammany Hall district leader Martin Engel owned the building, a former church, which had been operated for some time as prize fight club. In 1910, Yonah Shimmel opened his knish bakery next door. In those days, movies and cheap dairy food went hand in hand (which also explains the location of Ratner’s next-door to Loew’s Delancey Street Theater). The Houston Hippodrome offered a mix program of motion pictures and Yiddish vaudeville for five cents in the afternoon and ten cents at night. In 1912, Steiner & Minsky moved their variety show to the National Winter Garden, the roof top theater above Boris Thomashefsky’s National Theater (at 111 Houston Street)and the Houston Hippodrome was downgraded to a nickelodeon. In those days, the sign of the theater already featured a shining sun. In 1917, Steiner bought the building and after a $25,000 renovation opened it as the 600-seat Sunshine Theater. There was some talk in the Yiddish press that it might become a Yiddish theater, but to my knowledge nothing came of this. It remained a movie theater.

Greenpoint on November 21, 2005 at 1:27 pm

Lets not forget about the delicious Yonah Schimmel Knishes next door, My favorites are the Red Cabbge ,Cabbbage, Sweet Potato and Regular… I remember the Sunshine when it was a wharehouse, often I would pass by the Sunshine on the way to Yonah Schimmels on Chrystie and Houston Street..I’d see the door open up and would glance in. In fact I bought fireworks in there in 1995 (as a wharehouse ofcourse)…its great to see a movie over there.

Garth on October 29, 2005 at 12:14 pm

i recently saw the film “2046” here , the theatre was huge compared to cinema village and the quad. however i was also stunned by the paper receipt, as were other posters….

hardbop on October 3, 2005 at 5:36 am

Kind of weird bookings at the Sunshine this week with three films opening Friday exclusively at the Landmark and all look dead in the water.

The strange opening was CARLITO’S WAY: RISE TO POWER, which wasn’t even screened for the press. It is also not an art film. I assume it has something to do with the digital projection and the fact that the film opened simultanseously with the DVD release. This film is an odd booking for an art house. It is the type of B movie that would have been booked on the old 42nd Street.

Also opening exclusively there was MIRRORMASK and THE WAR WITHIN.

I don’t plan to see any of them.

RobertR on July 7, 2005 at 5:33 am

The Sunshine is running “Psycho” Fri and Sat at midnight this weekend.

John Fink
John Fink on June 13, 2005 at 6:59 pm

I agree, I just came back from the Sunshine, its so weird to have these paper receipts, but I’ve seen other theatres do it (Cinema Village did, as well as Touchstar Southcase in Orlando, FL). I don’t like it, they’re harder to lose and at 10.75, what excuse do they have to be this cheap.

Granted, maybe trying a new technology is bold, but some how I see how Celluoid Freak is offeneded. Barcoding is one thing. A cheap supermarket-like receipt is in some ways unprofessional in the cinema industry. Besdies, I just like having a hard ticket in hand neatly organized. This aproach is wacky.

Maybe I’m just not ready for it. But I’m glad somebody else out there agrees with me.

celluloid on May 28, 2005 at 10:56 am

They Are Not Tickets! They are Supermearket Receipts!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 26, 2005 at 11:51 am

Why are bar-coded tickets “stupid” ?