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 83 comments)

moviebuff82 on February 11, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Redstone took control of Viacom in the mid 1980s while keeping the company public. Viacom would take over Paramount in the early 90s, then Blockbuster Video later on, and merged it with its former parent CBS in 1999 before breaking it up in two yet Redstone’s National Amusements still controls voting shares of both CBS and Viacom much like Dolan oversees Cablevision, AMC Networks, and MSG (soon to be split into Entertainment and Sports) and Murdoch with 21st Century Fox and News Corp. It was 25 years ago this Christmas that the infamous violence occured during the release of the third godfather movie.

optimist008 on February 12, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Orlando, thank you for the info, was very curious if they were leasing or owned this property. And since they owned it and sold it for $ 22.5 million,imagine what they paid for it in the 1950’s!!! Same with their Bronx, Whitestone property that was sold last year.

theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 12:37 pm

What will happen to the Flea Market that used the parking lot of this theatre on the weekends?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 12, 2015 at 2:02 pm

The flea market has been closed for months, per the sign that was on the marquee while the theater was still open…

theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Too bad, it was a nice flea market, there aren’t too many like that one left anymore. National Amusements also seems to be really getting rid of a lot of their older multiplex & showcase cinema locations.

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 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 fa├žade is down; will make some really interesting photos… (hint, hint)

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 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.

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