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Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema on Lower East Side will close next year

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The beleaguered movie theater was snapped up for $31.5 million

East End Capital

New York City is about to lose another independent cinema. Rumors have been swirling for years that Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street would be redeveloped, and now, the New York Post reports that it’s a done deal. According to the paper, developers East End Capital and K Property Group closed a $31.5 million deal for the movie theater, with plans to redevelop it into “a mixed-use development with retail and upstairs office space.”

Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema opened in 2001 in a building that had served as a theater for more than a century, first for vaudeville acts and then for film screenings. But the theater has been in trouble for a few years now, and was dealt a blow in 2012 when the local community board voted against a plan that would have allowed the cinema to serve food and drinks.

While East End and K Property Group are obviously still in the early stages of developing the space, they’ve ruled out a movie theater or other sort of nightlife for the building. “We see the transition from bar and nightlife area to a live/work environment,” East End’s Jonathon Yormak told the Post.

The building itself measures 30,000 square feet currently, and comes with 20,000 square feet of air rights. No word yet on how, or if, the developer plans to use those.

The folks at Landmark, meanwhile, will have their hands full with a new movie theater in Midtown West—specifically, in Bjarke Ingels’s “courtscraper,” Via 57 West. As we previously reported, “the new theater will apparently have a private bar where Q&A’s and special events can be held, along with ‘unique design elements’ like a video wall and a special light display.… [and] the theaters themselves will be equipped with plush leather recliners, plenty of concessions, and laser projection screens.”