As one Landmark movie theater—the beloved Sunshine Cinema on the Lower East Side—prepares to close in 2018, another one will open, albeit with a completely different vibe. The theater, called The Landmark at 57 West and situated on the ground floor on Bjarke Ingels’s West 57th Street courtscraper, is set to make its debut on September 15.
As we previously reported, the eight-screen theater will have a private bar, which will be called JD’s Place, along with design elements like a video wall and a special light display. As is de rigueur for movie theaters these days, the theaters themselves will be equipped with plush leather recliners, plenty of concessions (including ones from NYC purveyors like Two Boots and Fat Witch), and laser projection screens.
While a spate of high-end movie theaters have been opening or are in the works around the city—see the Alamo Drafthouse in Downtown Brooklyn, iPic Theaters at the Seaport, and the soon-to-open Nitehawk Cinema in Park Slope—there hasn’t been a new cinema in Midtown in some time. The new Landmark expects to fill that void, with a press release noting that it’s intended to “appeal to film aficionados and neighborhood movie-goers alike.”
But Landmark’s Lower East Side theater isn’t so lucky: the Sunshine Cinema 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. It’s likely going to turn into a mixed-use office-retail space after it closes next year.