Developers East End Capital and K Property Group are closing the Landmark Sunshine Cinema on the Lower East Side to make way for an office-and-retail property.
The developers, who bought the 30,000-square-foot theater for $31.5 million, plan to convert the movie theater into a mixed-use building, with retail on the lower levels and office on the upper floors, the New York Post reported. The theater’s lease expires in 2018.
Landmark investors Mark Cuban and his partner Todd Wagner had initially planned to buy the Lower East Side building and create a dine-in movie theater. The plan fell through, however, when the local community board rejected their application for a liquor license in 2012.
Instead, Wagner and Cuban are opening a theater at the Durst Organization’s Via57.
The theater opened in 1909 as the Houston Hippodrome and hosted Yiddish vaudeville acts. The theater became the Sunshine Theatre in 1917 when it was sold, then became the Chopin Theatre in the 1930s. For decades, the building was used as storage, until the late 1990s, when it reopened as the Landmark Sunshine Cinema. [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel