Landmark has confirmed Sunday, January 21 as the date when the Sunshine art house will screen its final reel, Deadline has learned.
The five-screen complex, which opened in 2001, has been a hotspot in New York for cinephiles and specialty distributors alike but will now make way for retail development. While the theater’s exit has long been expected, the news adds to an already melancholy winter for the New York specialty film business. The Lincoln Plaza Cinemas on the Upper West Side, a longtime indie temple, is also closing this month and its famed programmer Dan Talbot died last month.
Ted Mundorff, CEO of Landmark Theatres, took a pragmatic tone when reached by Deadline. “We’ve known it was coming,” he said. No special programming or commemoration is planned on the final weekend, he confirmed. “There’s nothing to celebrate.”
Landmark, which now has 260 screens in 53 sites across the U.S., will turn its attentions to nurturing its newest New York location, on 57th Street on the Far West Side. Mundorff said grosses at the theater, which opened last fall, “get better every week.”
In Lower Manhattan, the Angelika is hanging on further west on Houston and the Metrograph has energized the Lower East Side, but the closing of the Sunshine will leave a gap, at least for the near term.