A petition has formed and a rally is being planned as local residents try to save Sunnyside Center Cinemas from the wrecking ball.
An online petition started Wednesday that has already garnered more than 240 signatures. Meanwhile, Ty Sullivan and Jon Stork, two local activists, are already planning to hold a rally outside the theater that is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 21 (details to come).
The petition—called “Save the Sunnyside Theater”– is addressed to the property owner/developer John Ciafone. It reads, in part, “Save the movie theater from demolition and have a new lease extended.”
Meanwhile, Sullivan is reaching out to the media and various community groups as he plans the rally. He is designing posters, fliers and launching a social-media campaign to generate community interest.
This activism comes at a time when Ciafone has just offered the owner of the theater Rudy Prashad a six month extension to his lease. After the six months, he would operate on a month-to month basis.
Prashad, however, seeks a longer lease claiming that he has organized movers and contractors to remove all the seats from the theater as required. Furthermore he has already told his staff about the upcoming closure.
Ciafone was nonchalant about the “Save the theater” petition. “I could get a petition going with just as many signatures from people wanting affordable housing,” he said.