Sunshine Cinema

143 E. Houston Street,
New York, NY 10002

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Sunshine Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The entertainment beginnings of this building came in 1909 when it opened as the Houston Hippodrome, a venue for Yiddish vaudeville acts and films.

In 1917, the theatre’s ownership changed and the 600-seat venue was renamed the Sunshine Theatre. In the late-1930’s it was renamed Chopin Theatre. The theatre closed in 1945 and had been used as a storage warehouse into the mid-1990s.

Following a three-year, $12 million renovation project, the Sunshine Cinema is back and set to due battle with the famed Angelika and Film Forum theatres which, up until recent years had been the favorite destinations of the art house set.

The Sunshine Cinema certainly fills a need in the area as there are few movie theatres in or around the Lower East Side. The facade has been restored and 3 of the 5 auditoriums contain stadium seating, while all have plush seats and the latest sound and projection equipment.

The theatre is the first for Landmark Theatres in the much coveted New York indie market.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 71 comments)

Astyanax on December 20, 2014 at 6:43 am

Can’t imagine a more fitting venue for the red carpet premiere given the theatre’s location in the heart of what was once a center of counter-culture satire. Hopefully, in defiance of the N. Korean gangsters the premiere will soon take place here.

TheALAN on December 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Landmark Theatres rescue of The Sunshine — after a 50-year hiatus — gives hope that some of our historic theaters may survive after all. Unfortunately, in the restoration of this theater’s facade, Landmark chose not to replicate the theater’s historic marquee. Instead, block letters illuminated in neon were used. Not quite restoration!

Metropolite on May 9, 2015 at 4:56 am

The Sunshine is for sale.

moviebuff82 on May 27, 2015 at 12:14 pm

Oh boy….they were known for showing midnight runs of popular movies during the weekends according to the ads in New York Times. Which leaves other theaters still running.

moviebuff82 on May 10, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Is it still for sale? Maybe someone can buy it like AMC and renovate it with recliners and reserved seating.

moviebuff82 on September 4, 2016 at 10:09 am

Perhaps reserved seating is a good idea. Look at the Alamo Drafthouse chain. Maybe they can buy the Sunshine.

bigjoe59 on December 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm


is this theater really in any eminent danger of closing any time soon? people had been talking about the eminent closing of the Ziegfeld yearsssssssssssss before it actually happened.

moviebuff82 on April 8, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Not really. It still does well for indie films and is known for showing midnight showings of cult movies.

moviebuff82 on April 17, 2017 at 11:21 am

How did the theater get its name?

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