Sunnyside Center Cinemas will be closing its doors on January 4 after screening movies in the neighborhood for decades, the theater’s owner said Sunday.
Theater owner, Rudy Prashad, said he was informed last week that the property owner Broadway Stages was not renewing his lease. His lease ends December 31 but he has been given to Jan. 10 to clear out of the building.
Prashad said that he had been going back and forth with the property manager for months as he wondered what was happening to his lease.
Prashad said that he would like to thank the residents of Sunnyside for their patronage over the years and plans on showing a free movie before he leaves.
With Center Cinemas gone, Broadway Stages is now trying to lease the air rights to a developer to build residential apartments above the ground-floor retail space.
The owner plans to keep the retail space while leasing 52,000 square feet of air rights to a developer. The developer would have to pay a ground lease of $750,000 per year for those rights.
Broadway Stages plans to keep PJ Horgan’s as an on-going tenant, said Evan Daniel, a broker for Modern Spaces, which has the real estate listing. Daniel said that PJ Horgan’s is the only business with an existing lease and is well regarded by the community.