Center Cinemas

42-17 Queens Boulevard,
Sunnyside, NY 11104

Unfavorite 5 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 39 comments

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on August 11, 2018 at 10:20 am

A new Regal multiplex is coming to Queens Boulevard on the Sunnyside/Long Island City border, and under the shadow of the #7 elevated subway line. Sketch and details here

Willburg145 on August 12, 2017 at 12:47 pm

To those of us who love movie theatres, we don’t care about the business model. That said, I agree with other posters that any owner of a movie theatre can not pass up millions of dollars for their property.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 27, 2017 at 7:09 pm

I think this was the theater where I first saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I went in completely unprepared and needless to say it knocked my socks off…!

cmbussmann on March 27, 2017 at 1:42 pm

Walked by here yesterday. Sad to see it just sitting empty. If they weren’t going to repurpose or demolish the building, why void the lease? They could still be showing movies!

Gabi Gonzalez
Gabi Gonzalez on March 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Hello fellow movie theater lovers,

I’m doing a project for my photojournalism class at NYU about closed down independent movie theaters in New York. I hope to gain information about people’s past experiences at these movie theaters, recollections of favorite memories or not so great experiences, perhaps economical insight, contacts with owners/managers, etc. On a larger level, I hope my project is able to show the significance of the role that these establishments play in our city and the importance of keeping them afloat.

If anyone would be willing to answer a few questions via email about your personal memories at the theater, please let me know! It could be as simple as recounting a favorite movie you remember seeing back when it was open. I would greatly appreciate your insight.

You can contact me at:


Willburg145 on November 22, 2015 at 10:19 pm

Wow, I was thinking last night that I wanted to pass by and see a movie before….well, too late.

dallasmovietheaters on October 17, 2015 at 8:02 am

Opened by the Squire-Queens Circuit in 1940 in a 20,000 square foot plot, the 600-seat theatre had a fantastic 75-year run.

robboehm on March 18, 2015 at 10:07 am

I think artpf may be thinking about either of the two large theaters in Sunnyside, the Bliss or the Sunnyside, which were in the 2,000 seating range. According to the 1944 FDYB the capacity of the Center was 600.

artpf on March 17, 2015 at 4:17 pm

This movie theatre CLOSED last month. The landlord is looking for someone to buy the air rights to build a big building on top of this, but says teh restaurant next door will remain. The current movie tenant said he was blind sided by his lease not being renewed.

BTW, the capacity listed above says 750 seats and 6 screens. I know for sure teh original configuration was 2013 seats.. It’s hard to believe they’d go from one screen and 2013 seats to 6 and 750. The rent on this property was around $15K a month! Please correct the header above that says it’s open.

RobertR on February 5, 2015 at 1:18 pm

I was wondering why they were letting the marquee fall apart and go dark and leave graffiti all over the building, now I know. With this closing the nearby Jackson 3 might be worth reopening.

DARCYDT on January 4, 2015 at 3:37 pm

If the theater closes after today as they say the owner rejected a 6 month stay the final pictures to play there are, The Interview, Annie, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tombs, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Top 5 and Penguins of Madagascar.

fred1 on December 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm

The owner of the property has granted the theater a reprieve

fred1 on December 10, 2014 at 1:32 pm

The place is a gridhouse . How it lasted is anybody guess.

Metropolite on December 10, 2014 at 8:19 am

The theater will be demolished for Affordable Housing.

robboehm on December 8, 2014 at 11:00 am

I believe these are the people who brought back the Islip. Wonder how that’s going.

Greenpoint on December 7, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Greenpoint on December 7, 2014 at 11:18 pm

January 4th 2015 is the last day for the Center and will break my mother’s heart…

RobertR on July 14, 2014 at 11:16 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 on March 2, 2014 at 4:10 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 on March 2, 2014 at 3:08 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 on February 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm

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

LuisV on February 15, 2013 at 10:24 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.

bpmckenna on September 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm

ENDANGERED! The building the theater is housed in is up for sale:

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 on September 18, 2012 at 2:01 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.