Center Cinemas

42-17 Queens Boulevard,
Sunnyside, NY 11104

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RobertR
RobertR on July 14, 2014 at 9:16 am

Any theatre no matter how much business it does is in danger if the landlord has someone willing to pay more then a theatre can. The Pacific-City Cinemas people DROOL over the money to be made for Cinema 1-2-3 it will happen as soon as the right offer comes along.

mhvbear
mhvbear on March 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Doubt very much the Union Square would close. It is probably the only theater complex on the East side that does any significant business.

zoetmb
zoetmb on March 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm

@LuisV: Well, it’s a year later and it’s still there, but almost all theaters are endangered, because from a real-estate perspective, theaters are a lousy business. They’re in use only part of the day, they take up a lot of space, there’s slow turnover, and in the early weeks of a movie (and today there are only early weeks to a movie), the distributor takes 90% of the money. Digital projection or not, theaters have to do a better job than what people can obtain at home, otherwise they’re not going to get any business. NYC has lost 80 screens in the last 13 years.

There are rumors that the Cinema 1,2,3 and the Union Square 14 are next on the chopping block, although those rumors have been around for a while.

fred1
fred1 on February 15, 2013 at 11:21 am

Always a pleasure to see the Center cinemas while passing it from the 7 train

LuisV
LuisV on February 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

Sunnyside Center Cinemas is likely to be demolished in the coming years, since the Queens Boulevard-facing plot of land on which it sits was sold to an Astoria developer back in December for $6.675 million. The Sunnyside Post reports that the developer hasn’t yet decided what to do with the site—which includes a Dime Savings Bank, set to close this summer, and Irish pub P.J. Horgan’s, which has been operating for 40 years and has a lease till 2018—but guesses that it’s likely to be razed in the name of a presumably more lucrative residential project.

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/02/15/longtime_sunnyside_movie_theater_faces_closure.php#more

bpmckenna
bpmckenna on September 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm

ENDANGERED! The building the theater is housed in is up for sale: http://sunnysidepost.com/2012/09/22/queens-bld-building-up-for-sale-includes-historic-businesses/#comments.

All part of an extremely ill advised rezoning (upzoning) of Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside where the theater is located because various political figures wanted to preserve the residential side streets (but not the small-scale commercial district with many charms of its own).

cmbussmann
cmbussmann on September 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm

If you miss the charms of the classic grindhouse aesthetic of the 70’s & 80’s, this place is for you: dim, cramped interior with sticky floors and broken seats. Projection that continually blurs with an image-ratio that rarely fits the screen (though this may have been solved with them recently going digital). Bathrooms that are straight out of a horror movie and concessions I would never venture to eat. Add in an indifferent staff, sagging marquee, cheap ticket prices, and a quarrelsome audience and you get a recipe for a fun night out — provided you don’t care too much about what you’re seeing there. For films like 28 Weeks Later, Taken, & Resident Evil: Extinction this place is perfect. Seeing Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse double-feature was heaven — I felt like I would walk right out of the theater and into another era. I’ve missed this place since switching from Queens to Brooklyn.

RobertR
RobertR on April 4, 2012 at 9:47 pm

The marquee is falling apart and there is terrible graffiti on the wall above it. I don’t know how the interior is but the outside looks really bad.

llumenick
llumenick on May 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Francis Ford Coppola mentions seeing “The Thief of Bagdhad'‘ (1940) and other Alexandra Korda productions, as well as Universal productions including Abbott and Costello movies, in a commentary track for the new Criterion Collection DVD of "Thief of Baghdad.’'

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on January 1, 2007 at 5:29 am

3 theaters upstairs have DTS. The other upstairs theater has Dolby Digital EX. The downstairs theater has analog stereo.

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on December 31, 2006 at 4:28 pm

does anyone know the capacities of each screen and does any have digital sound

Timothyart
Timothyart on August 16, 2006 at 3:53 pm

I have just recently moved to Queens after 20 years in Manhattan. During the 80’s I still was able to go to all of the great declining glory of 42nd street, all the revival houses, the few art-house screens. And of course, I saw them all go. So, I resisted going to the Center for the first 4 months that I lived here. It looked dingy and cheap. But, as a lover of movies, once I settled down in my seat with a little popcorn, I was happy to have the Center around the corner. Dingy and cramped though it may be, the sound is good, the price can’t be beat, and I was glad to learn that Sullivan’s Travels was the first film to play there, that knowledge courtesy of this website. There is a lot to be said for these old places, that were never grand in the first place, that never fell to a wrecking ball or another chain store or flea market.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 11, 2006 at 5:04 pm

Here’s a new link to the photo I posted on Sep 6th. The old link no longer works.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 6, 2005 at 4:15 pm

Snapped this photo on the way back from Manhattan with my son a few weekends ago…

View link

Also grabbed a shot or two of the former Boulevard Theater on Northern Blvd in Jackson Heights on my way in to the city this same day. The following weekend I decided to take the camera out for a real tour of some cinema sites in Astoria, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, Flushing and even a stop in Fresh Meadows. I’ll be posting those pics as well in the coming days.

RobertR
RobertR on June 21, 2005 at 5:57 pm

Cineplex never had this theatre, the owner may just have copied their color schemes. I was suprised to recently discover at some point in the mid 60’s this was part of the Rugoff-Cinema 5 chain.

br91975
br91975 on March 26, 2005 at 10:52 pm

I’ve only passed by the Center Cinemas on foot once – and God knows how many times on the 7, heading out to Shea for Mets games – but seem to remember seeing quite a bit of gray, trimmed with some rather familiar runs of purple and pink neon within its interior; was this once a Cineplex house?

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on November 28, 2004 at 5:11 am

The center was first twinned down the middle with one theater added in the basement. Then about 6 years ago the two upstairs screens were split in half to make a total of five screens for the building.

RobertR
RobertR on September 28, 2004 at 8:11 pm

Clearview has the most expensive concessions I have ever seen.

movieman007
movieman007 on September 28, 2004 at 5:25 pm

BY the way there are only 5 screens not 6, only one of the screens are in the basment, also Main Street bargain day is Wednesday, also Clearview Cinemas (We bring neibors to the movies, and screw you with our prices), they did away with their bargain day.

RobertR
RobertR on September 28, 2004 at 2:09 pm

The Main Street has the same owner and has the same Tuesday policy. I think the Clearview Squire and Port Jefferson also have a cheap night.

Camden
Camden on July 17, 2004 at 5:27 pm

I’m making a point of checking this theatre out. Warren, what other bargains do you know of in the NYC area? I’m familiar with Cobble Hill in Brooklyn, which is $5 until 5PM on weekdays and all day Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I’m curious to learn of others.

Thanks,
Camden