Monday, January 22, 2018
Discarded theater seats and goodbyes at the Sunshine Cinema
There was a lone dumpster outside the just-closed Sunshine Cinema late this afternoon... workers have started discarding some theater seats...
A little later, EVG reader Karen spotted a now-former Sunshine employer putting up "There Goes the Neighborhood" on the marquee...
The message was later changed to Closed...
Workers will demolish the building here on East Houston near Forsyth to make way for a 9-floor office building.
Post updated at 7:30 p.m.
Posted by Grieve at 5:55 PM
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Are all those seats going to a landfill? If so, what a disgraceful waste.
It is a sad day for the East Village but CB3 was given a chance in 2012 to give them a liquor license and they did not so I am not sure what happened there...Yes it is gone now but we ca only blame ourselves I guess...
The worst thing is that the monstrosity that replaces the cheerful little Sunshine will be a soulless glass-and-chrome edifice with no redeeming features at all—unless, of course, the architect wants to build it higher than allowed and is forced to put in a pedestrian plaza to appease the unwashed masses.
For all you Meredith Baxter fans. Just two blocks east, just past Allen Street, is Russ & Daughters Appetizers which, I can be corrected, use to be the backdrop for the Steinberg’s Delicatessen in Bridget Loves Bernie- and the neighborhood keeps on a’changing.
this is bullshit. so sad and unfortunate.
Prescience is a virtue.
But these mofos don't care, they know they (have) rule(d) this city and those neoliberal suckups in city hall, city council and Albany.
The local community groups and block associations could have helped to stop this, but instead the block associations protested the liquor license and CB3 went along with the NIMBYs. Hope they’re happy now.
I hear the two Block Assocations who helped run Sunshine out of business were coached by another local group known for their militancy, but now everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else and saying “it wasn’t me.” Everyone knows this should have never happened.
I'm not sure if selling liquor would have been enough to keep this place open under a new lease, although, I think it was pretty short-sighted for CB3, especially on a major thoroughfare like Houston Street.
What is the appeal of going to the movies and having everyone around you eating and drinking and presumably making small talk throughout the movie? It's not as if you are at a dinner club.
Sunshine wanted a cafe for pre or post movie drinks and food. You would not be able to bring your drinks into the theater or order dinner during the film. Landmark has a cafe like this at their new west 57th location. The quad has a separate cafe too.
people make small talk throughout movies anyway these days in case you hadn’t noticed — including at places like the film forum
The SHADOW has learned from Sunshine employees that their lease ran out last year and that they were on a month-to-month lease until the new owner suddenly gave them a 30 day notice to split.
I don't get WHY, considering the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by the Sunshine group to breathe new life into that dormant shell, they didn't BUY the building in order to protect their investment. That was a big mistake.
Now we hear that Sunshine is opening or has opened a new spot at 57th Street + 11th Ave, called "57 WEST" that will offer food and booze with films. Too bad that the PAID OFF "SLA Committee" of the UN-elected and therefore UN-accountable "community" board 3 refused to approve the Sunshine on Houston offering food and liquor as well. (From what we are told, with a liquor license at the Houston Street location, Sunshine could have stayed in business there.)
Regardless of somewhat contradictory stories, the bottom line is that the loss of The Sunshine could have been avoided by:
• Landmark protection. Plenty of sites have been designated as landmarks even if interiors have been altered. Any new purchaser would have had to either incorporate the historic exterior into the new project or, better yet, KEEP it as a THEATER, as it was MEANT to be.
• Zoning restrictions. If this site was zoned as a two story theater and NOTHING else, a new owner would either not buy the property because demolishing it only to replace it with a theater of the same size would be financially unsound, or better yet, KEEP it as a THEATER, as it was MEANT to be.
What we have here is a crooked city administration and complicit city council members who allow developers to build as high as they like, with NO regard to the scale of surrounding structures. NO restrictions, NO limits, WITH tax abatements and other incentives for creating "market rate" rentals for monied transients invading and occupying (for now) our city....
Sad. Add another stupid soulless building to all the other stupid soulless buildings. Why doesn't this city cherish its funky individuality?
Cuz this city is being inundated by boring ass consumerist transplants and insufferable hipsters who wish they were rich, 7:46pm.
I think there were a number of problems. I thought that they owned the building. When was this known? The community board usually votes in favor of everything, besides it's only a recommendation. 2012 was a long time ago, they could have received support and come back every six months or gone straight to the SLA. The dynamic of the SLA and community board is much different now. The Lower East Side is considered one of the most bar saturated neighborhoods the country,dense with hotels and high-rises, it's hell. The block associations and groups do a great job protecting the neighborhood, so calling residents nimbys is not correct and it dismisses positive things they have done and the 99% bad nightlife developers landlords. The battle for property and affordability opens up a can of conflicts. Thanks to The SHADOW. Get involved.
Anonymous 7:46: But the city does cherish its funky individuality. It's the outside investors and development groups who have dollar signs where their souls should be forcing their way into our market who don't give a rat's ass about city individuality unless they can prepackage it and sell it back to us. All they want is to tear our spots with NYC character out so they can have the space. Small business owners and community centers are just in the way of them getting the profits so these things must go. The yuppies have taken over.
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