Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas

750 W. Sunrise Highway,
Valley Stream, NY 11581

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Showing 76 - 90 of 90 comments

chconnol on November 22, 2004 at 11:05 am

“This was a top rate house in it’s single days when it used to play exclusives, I have a load of great movie memories there.”

Oh, are YOU kidding me? Of all the theaters I remember going to as a kid, the Green Acres is the one I have the best memories of. The most distinctive is seeing “Jaws” there in the summer of 1975. The entire PACKED audience screaming our collective heads off when the guys head rolls toward the audience. I remember the deep red brick on the front of the theater and that huge marquee.

Obviously this is a discussion more for that theater’s posting than the multiplex but it does relate to it. Do you know what year the original Century’s Green Acres opened? Do you remember that marquee they had on the BACK of the theater that faced the mall? That always got to me as a kid…

longislandmovies on November 22, 2004 at 10:51 am

I s still think to this day this theater must be in the top 5 grossing theaters in the country the #s here are still hugh…..

RobertR on November 22, 2004 at 10:06 am

I was there over the summer and although it was still clean there were many signs things were not being kept up. The candy stand only used one out of four stations and they did not even bother to make the other stations look decent. The show cases were just empty. They also did not have as much concession item’s as most theatres. The auditorium I was in had most of the runway lights burned out and alot of the theatre lights were dead. I checked out upstairs and that candy stand looks like it has not been used since the Cineplex days. As a former theatre manager this always suprises me. For the small amount it pays to have another concession person, you can make this up in a few sales. Also having a person behind the counter upstairs prevents vandalism. This was a top rate house in it’s single days when it used to play exclusives, I have a load of great movie memories there.

chconnol on November 22, 2004 at 9:39 am

AndyT: I lived on LI when this opened and I strongly believe that for LI, the Sunrise Multiplex WAS the first BIG one to come along on the island. OK…maybe not in the nation but in our small part of the world, it was the first. And fow awhile, the best place to see movies. As you mention, 1990 was almost 15 years ago and a lot may have changed. I have not been back to that theater since 1985 so it might be better now.

RobertR: You have GOT to be kidding me that the Green Acres Cinemas is falling apart! When that opened (or reopened as a six screener) in 1988 or so, it was a REALLY nice place. The theaters were small but it was beautiful. The last time I saw a movie there was “The Crying Game” in 1992 and it was still really nice. What a shame to let it go down hill. But with the megaplexes now taking over, this place’s days are numbered. If this was located in a more accesible place, like on a neighborhood street, it might have a chance. What I mean is, there’s dumpy theater located in Teaneck, NJ that’s a four plex made from an old single screener. Now this place is nothing special but it’s got two things going for it: it’s located in a neighborhood that enjoys the type of movies it shows (independent/art films) and it’s in a very accessible neighborhood street. Hope this made sense.

RobertR on November 22, 2004 at 8:50 am

The Green Acres Cinemas is so much nicer then this one. Sadly NA is letting it get run down. They do book the more upscale features here, but when you start seeing hand printed signs hung on walls it’s not good.

AndyT on November 22, 2004 at 8:46 am

There is little reason to think of the Sunrise as one of the first theaters to be built as a multiplex. The mid to late 1970s saw hundreds of multiplexes built across the country. The Sunrise was not ground breaking in any way. Probably the most unusual thing is the fact that it continues to operate —– irrespective of a questionable safety issue (1990 was a long time ago folks), there is a huge population nearby and Valley Stream will certainly continue to be a perfect place for a multiplex, or two as exist now.

chconnol on November 22, 2004 at 7:47 am

“This was at one time the busyest theater in the country.”

I’ll second that. From it’s opening till around 1984 or so, it was the place to see movies in southwestern Nassau county. But with each passing year, it got worse and worse. Other nicer, SAFER multiplexes began to open in other parts of the county which drew attendence away from this one. The formerly large Century’s Green Acres multiplexed in the late 1980s into a nice movie house albeit with small but well appointed theaters (more like screening rooms). They tended to show more “upscale” fare.

I think that the Sunrise Multiplex did so well initially because it was one of the first theaters to be built AS a multiplex as opposed to an existing single screener that got mulitplexed. Technically speaking, they did a lot of things right with this theater…the parking was amazing (it was built on the old Sunrise Drive In), the layout was very good and the theaters were large.

If it had been just five or so miles east on Sunrise Highway, it might not have been as bad.

longislandmovies on November 21, 2004 at 6:06 pm

This was at one time the busyest theater in the country.

Bway on November 21, 2004 at 12:26 pm

Actually, I remember the Commack Multiplex Cinemas, also an NA house had a shootout in the lobby once.

dave-bronx™ on November 21, 2004 at 12:23 pm

Aren’t metal detectors standard equipment at all National Amusements' theatres these days? The Whitestone and Concourse theatres in the Bx has them, and I’m told the ENY Bkln and Jamaica Qns theatres also have them. Apparently NA feels that metal detectors and a shooting or riot now and then are just a normal costs of doing business.

RobertR on November 21, 2004 at 11:32 am

I remember the houses being very large in the begining. I have no idea what it’s like now, I have not been here since the early 80’s.

chconnol on November 17, 2004 at 1:50 pm

Orlando: I stand corrected at to the opening. Yes, I saw the first “Star Trek” movie there and it was quite a theater when it opened. Clean and big. Felt very “state-of-the-art”. There always seemed a “bad” element coming to the theater but the place was so big it never felt threatening. Until the riot of “Krush Groove” and all that followed. Like I said in my initial posting, everyone who lived in southwestern Nassau County as I did went to this theater in the early to mid 80’s. After that, if you told someone you went there, they’d look at you like you were nuts.

Orlando on November 17, 2004 at 11:57 am

This multiplex didn’t open in the summer, it opened on Dec. 9th or so with “Star Trek” on a couple of screens and auditoriums opened through Christmas Day ‘79. At the theatre’s grand opening, only three auditoriums were finished and ready for “Star Trek”. I should know, I was one of the six managerial staff members. It opened as a “Redstone Theatre” which it is still today, the same management now “National Amusements”. Redstone operated the Drive-In as well. The original “sixplex” sat 700 in each auditorium for a total of 4,200 seats. It was at its’ opening two or three years “the highest grossing multiplex in the country”. I left the next year and the film “Stir Crazy” put the place on the map and this is when the fights started. We had a large staff and everyone got along. The pay was as it was in theatre management, “very low” but Redstone was then notoriously “CHEAP”.

chconnol on November 17, 2004 at 9:56 am

longislandmovies wrote:

Well, I thought exactly the same thing. How could this infamous institution not be listed but I looked and looked and could not find it.

Quite a place, eh? Does anyone know how it’s doing these days? I heard that a few years ago, the installted metal detectors and such. Unbelievable. That must’ve happened after “The Godfather, Part III” incident. As I wrote above, I stopped going there after the “Krush Groove” riot. It just got worse and worse in their and I knew no one who went there from my area.

It’s a pity because when it opened, it was actually a very nice place. Maybe not ornate like some of the old palaces but the theaters were very nice and big.

longislandmovies on November 16, 2004 at 10:04 pm