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Sunshine Cinema’s moviegoers say ‘goodbye’ after 16 years of screenings

The shuttering of Lower East Side staple will make way for a retail development.

After 16 years on the Lower East Side,

After 16 years on the Lower East Side, the beloved Sunshine Cinema finally had to close its doors on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

Moviegoers lined up Sunday to bid Sunshine Cinema farewell.

The five-screen theater has become a Lower East Side staple since opening more than 16 years ago, and is closing to make way for a retail development. The Landmark Theatres-owned cinema first opened in December 2001 in a former Yiddish theater built in 1898.

“We’re going to be sad to see this go. I’m glad I made it,” said Jim McWilliams, 68, of the East Village. “I was here the week that it opened, there was nothing down here.

“I thought this was the revitalization of the neighborhood,” he added. “Now it’s . . . corporate-ification. I don’t know when this stops.”

Flatbush resident Bryce Thomas, 49, was waiting to see “Hostiles,” and said he tries to support indie flicks and always appreciates Sunshine’s selection of movies.

“I love this theater, it’s one of my favorites,” he said, adding it was like “saying goodbye to an old friend.”

Midtown East resident Jeanne Bauer, who was in line Sunday to see “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” said she was “horrified” that the theater was closing.

“I come a long way to come here, it’s a trek,” she said, but added it’s worth it. “I’m glad that I’m here to say goodbye, it’s very respectful. I’m sad to see it go.”

West Village resident Paul Wachtel, 77, said he was “furious” when he heard about the theater’s closing.

“It’s real estate greed, which you see all over the city,” he said. “It’s just a sign of everything that’s wrong with the city.”

With Meghan Giannotta


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