The Lower East Side’s hip movie house, the Landmark Sunshine Cinema, will close when its lease expires in January 2018, The Post has learned.
The 30,000-square-foot building at 139 E. Houston St. has been sold for $31.5 million to developers East End Capital and K Property Group, which will convert it to a mixed-use development with retail and upstairs office space. The site includes 20,000 square feet of air rights.
Landmark had a right of first refusal to buy the building and wanted to serve dinner with its flicks, but that idea was flushed after a full liquor license was rejected in 2012 by the community board. The property has been marketed since 2015.
Last summer, Landmark investors Mark Cuban and his partner Todd Wagner leased a new spot at the Durst Organization’s Via57, a residential and retail tower at 625 W. 57th St. where a new multiplex cinema is slated to open this spring.
Meanwhile, East End’s Jonathon Yormak and David Peretz are very bullish on the Lower East Side – even if they aren’t bullish on movie theaters.
“We see the transition from bar and nightlife area to a live/work environment,” Yormak explained of their purchase.
Added Rod Kritsberg of K Property, “We are excited about adding to the neighborhood’s rich culture and bright future.”
The theater became a neighborhood fixture and venue for Yiddish vaudeville acts and film when it opened in 1909 as the Houston Hippodrome, according to CinemaTreasures.org.
Sold in 1917, it was renamed the Sunshine Theatre and rechristened in the late-1930’s as Chopin Theatre. It closed in 1945 and was used for storage until the mid-1990s when it was leased again as an art-house cinema.
Richard Skulnik of Ripco Real Estate and Greg Kraut of K Property Group are handling the leasing. The building has a lower level with 35-foot high ceilings as well as two floors above the theater space.
The cinema is on the same block as the Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery, while Ian Schrager’s new Public Hotel will open in June on the other side of the park.
The Whole Foods and upscale rentals are to the west while Russ & Daughters, Katz’s Deli and the new Magnum Real Estate condominium are to the east at Orchard Street.
Scott Heller of The Heller Organization represented the seller, Steven R. Goldman of S&G Houston Realty Corp.