Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas

750 W. Sunrise Highway,
Valley Stream, NY 11581

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Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas

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This multiplex was built on the site of the old Sunrise Drive-In. When it opened in December of 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 71 comments)

fred1 on January 22, 2015 at 4:39 pm

The nearest theater is the Lynbrook 6. There an abundance of of space for some retail and a modern cinema. Im sure many people who want to see a movie will never go to Sunrise because of past history

robboehm on January 22, 2015 at 6:45 pm

And, theoretically, they’re supposed to start tearing down the Lynbrook to build a new one. Of course that has been pending for about a dozen years.

robboehm on January 29, 2015 at 10:45 am

According to an article in today’s Newsday the Green Acres Commons, which is an expansion of the Green Acres Shopping Center will cost $83 million. The two story, 220,600 square foot building will take two years to complete. There will also be additional 163,330 square feet of additional restaurant and retail space. According to property records the cost of acquisition of the theater was $22.5 million. Previously $500 million was paid for the Green Acres Shopping Center proper which, I’m presuming, did not include the Green Acres theater. The original mall is undergoing extensive renovation.

Also, relating to an earlier comment of mine, it is anticipated that the shopping center attracts almost 75% of it’s business outside of Nassau County. I would imagine the percentage of “outside” theatergoers from the theater would have also been large.

optimist008 on January 29, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Scott Neff

FYI: National Amusements does not own it Yonkers and Hawthorne, NY locations, but does own the entire property of their Greenburgh Multiplex in Elmsford, NY. Still wondering if they willingly broke their lease or not at this Valley Stream location…

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 29, 2015 at 1:38 pm

I can think of 22.5 million reasons, if robboehm is correct…

robboehm on January 29, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Article didn’t indicate the seller’s ID. Incidentally it is expected that a demolition permit will be filed immediately. So if anyone wants to take final pictures…….

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 29, 2015 at 9:35 pm

Uploaded a cell phone pic my buddy took of the marquee. He tagged me in the photo after uploading to Facebook, and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me sharing here. The sign actually refers patrons to the either the Linden Blvd or Jamaica multiplex locations (both National Amusement cinemas, naturally).

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 30, 2015 at 4:38 am

Ed, you the man…!

robboehm on January 30, 2015 at 11:58 am

Per my comment above. Since a large part of the clientele must have come in from Queens the opening of the Linden Blvd. and Jamaica venues must have cut into their business. Always happens. New theater in, old theater closes.

raysson on January 30, 2015 at 12:14 pm

70mm print of great movies got first-run billing at this theatre making it the most popular multiplex in all New York.

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