Sunshine Cinema

143 E. Houston Street,
New York, NY 10002

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Sunshine Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The entertainment beginnings on this Lower East Side site began in 1909 when the Houston Hippodrome opened as a venue for Yiddish vaudeville acts and films.

It was demolished around 1916 and in 1917 the 600-seat Sunshine Theatre opened on the site. 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-1990’s.

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. The building was sold in May 2017 and Landmark decided not to renew their lease. The popular Sunshine Theatre is due to close in January 2018.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 82 comments)

Willburg145 on May 19, 2017 at 12:27 am

According to the gothamist, the Sunshine is closing.

moviebuff82 on May 30, 2017 at 1:09 am

it’s still among the top listed theaters on the home page of CT.

cinemasoul on June 29, 2017 at 5:44 am

I was reading a few websites and, looking at the prices at this theater, the big mistake they made was trying to compete with the Angelika. The tickets for this theater are expensive. I’m surprised they aren’t offering matinee prices, but the same can be said for The Angelika too. At the same time, it’s an expensive theater to run. I think had they offered competitive packages to college students they would be like Cinema Village, but who knows. It’s a shame it will be razed. I wish they keep some parts of the interior.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 29, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Cinemasoul, this theatre is not closing for lack of business.

moviebuff82 on July 8, 2017 at 2:46 pm

It’s because of the lease expiration.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 8, 2017 at 2:54 pm

The eight screen Landmark 57 West is now set for a September 2017 opening.

Mikeoaklandpark on July 8, 2017 at 6:37 pm

So I can’t tell by the articles is this over where the Sutton used to stand?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 8, 2017 at 6:57 pm

No Mike, the new site is on the WEST SIDE, on the other side of Manhattan, almost on the Hudson River. The Durst Building is an odd triangular residence building with restaurants and bars at ground level.

moviebuff82 on July 8, 2017 at 7:52 pm

it’s gonna be closer to my side…

Astyanax on September 11, 2017 at 5:28 am

Remember this site when it was a boarded up warehouse. No idea behind its famed past. The opening of the Sunshine was consistent with the rapid transformation and gentrification of the LES which caused shockwaves across Williamsburg & Bushwick. Will miss its neon frontage.

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