Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas

750 W. Sunrise Highway,
Valley Stream, NY 11581

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Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas

This multiplex was built on the site of the old Sunrise Drive-In. When it opened on December 7, 1979, it had six screens which was quite radical back then. Each theater was enormous and very well appointed. Over the years, the owners (not sure who they were or are presently) added more theaters and divided up some of the original ones. The theaters were setup in along a long corridor.

For a while (early to mid-1980’s), this was THE place to see a movie if you lived on the western south shore of Nassau County on Long Island. The first movie I saw here was the first “Star Trek” movie. Also saw “Airplane”, “Starman”, as well as countless others. But the theater’s proximity to some less than desirable neighborhoods just over the Queens line in NYC began to have it’s effect on it.

The last movie I saw here was Scorcese’s “After Hours” in 1985. The Sunrise Multiplex had this late night movie which started at or around 12:30 or so. So that was the time we saw this. We sat through the movie and as we were leaving, the place was understandably deserted. What we did notice was that a large plate glass window was gone. For some reason, we didn’t think anything of it. Well, the next day, we found out that while we were watching “After Hours” a full scale riot had occurred involving patrons watching a movie called “Krush Groove”. In addition to guns being displayed, a patron was thrown through the plate glass window. I never saw a movie there again.

In 1990, at least one person was killed during a gun battle which occurred during a showing of “The Godfather, Part III”. I was not surprised.

The Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas was closed January 19, 2015.

Contributed by Chris Connolly

Recent comments (view all 88 comments)

MissAmanda
MissAmanda on May 16, 2015 at 10:26 am

Pity. It was one of the last non-stadium style theaters. The metal detector at the door was a first-class nuisance but I’ve spent many a happy afternoon in this theater.

markp
markp on May 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm

THis theatre, and its sister twin the Amboys Multiplex in Sayreville NJ, both opened on Dec 7, 1979. But this one lasted 10 years longer. The Amboys closed in late May 2005 after the floor in the lobby collapsed. As mentioned above, its a shame as these were some of the last non-stadium theatres left. Im not really a fan of stadium or digital, but its an evil thats here to stay.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 6, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Looks like they are they are tearing this place apart, so far the façade is down; will make some really interesting photos… (hint, hint)

markp
markp on September 7, 2015 at 6:01 am

Its sister twin, the Amboys Multiplex in Sayreville NJ is still standing 10 years after closing, slowly rotting away.

RobertR
RobertR on May 24, 2016 at 7:25 am

I’m surprised they did not try to buy space in the new mall going up here.

paktype
paktype on July 31, 2018 at 10:42 am

I saw Return of the Jedi here with my brother in 1983.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on July 31, 2018 at 1:21 pm

paktype, was it in 70mm dolby stereo?

ChrisPlatt
ChrisPlatt on August 13, 2018 at 1:40 am

On my first visit soon after it opened my friend’s car battery was stolen.

In the 1980’s the parking lot was the local police precinct’s hot spot for auto theft.

In the 1990’s there were several shootings inside the theaters.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on August 13, 2018 at 3:56 am

This has to be one of the most dangerous theaters to go to…up there with clifton commons.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 13, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Well, since this theater has been closed over three years, and was torn down, I don’t think that it is still one of the most dangerous theaters to go to.

I don’t think there were several shootings in the 1990s, just one highly publicized fracas during Godfather III.

And this was one of my local theaters, and I never felt in any particular danger or undue concern.

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