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 63 comments)

markp on January 16, 2015 at 7:40 pm

This theatre, along with the Amboys Multiplex Cinemas, were built and opened at the same time. Amboys closed 10 years ago this coming May after the lobby floor caved in. Its a shame this one is gonna close. Hope something good happens to it. The Amboys is just sitting there rotting away.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 18, 2015 at 5:54 am

Sign on the marquee says it’s closing on January 19. Signs in front say a new shopping center is coming soon…

robboehm on January 18, 2015 at 7:14 pm

That’s dumb. Shopping centers are a dying breed along with theaters.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 19, 2015 at 12:32 am

There are showtimes listed for the 19th but none beyond that.

optimist008 on January 22, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Did they terminate their lease earlier than it’s official end date??? If so, then maybe they were not making enough money to continue operating it…

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on January 22, 2015 at 7:33 pm

I’m sure National Amusements owns this property. I can’t imagine they don’t.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 22, 2015 at 11:15 pm

There is a “Thank you for all your patronage” message on the marquee now. Someone (Ed?) should take a photo and post it here, for posterity…

fred1 on January 23, 2015 at 12:39 am

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 23, 2015 at 2:45 am

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.

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