[EVG photo from last night]
There has been speculation about the long-term health of Landmark's Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street since news broke in May 2015 that the building housing the six-screen theater was for sale. (Asking price: $35 million.)
IndieWire checks in on the theater's status ...
Though a number of media outlets have reported that the Sunshine’s lease will be up for renegotiation at the end of 2018, the existential threat facing the theater has less to do with its lease than the possibility that a new buyer will demolish the building and replace it with a towering apartment complex. Built in 1898, the property has a reported price tag of more than $35 million.
Ted Mundorff, president and CEO of Landmark Theaters, told IndieWire that turning the theater into a high rise is easier said than done. “It would take years for anyone who’s going to pay the kind of money they’re looking for to demolish [the building] and construct something,” he said. “At this point I don’t see any imminent danger of us leaving the property.”
Bill Thompson, senior vice president of theatrical sales at international arthouse distributor Cohen Media Group, said that despite the fact that the Sunshine’s building has failed to lure a buyer, the chances of the theater sticking around for long are slim. “I think everyone is expecting that the building itself is going to end up becoming a high rise,” he said.
By the way, Cohen Media Group is behind the revamp of the Quad Cinema on 13th Street. That theater, being branded as “the New York City home of classic, foreign, art-house and independent films,” is now expected to return in the spring, per IndieWire.