NYC filmgoers: GREAT new place for "alternative" cinema

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Reuben, Dec 27, 2001.

  1. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The new Landmark Sunshine Cinema opened for business on December 21, 2001, and it's a beautiful venue for seeing "alternative" film. Located on the edge of Alphabet City as 143 East Houston Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues), the Sunshine has five theaters, all of them with bigger screens, better seating and superior sound than the nearby Angelika Film Center or the uptown Lincoln Plaza Cinemas. Especially now that more and more alternative films are being projected in the 2.35:1 ratio, the postage-stamp-sized screens found at the Angelika and Lincoln Plaza can be a problem. The Sunshine has screens that approach the size found in many mainstream multiplexes. It isn't the Ziegfeld, but few theaters are.
    The building was once a theater, but more recently it was a warehouse. The restoration left some of the original beams and brickwork exposed so that you can see the building's history (the usual downtown approach to renovation), but the theatrical appointments are current state-of-the-art: high-backed seats, stadium seating in three of the five auditoriums, DD EX (at least so they say; I won't know for sure until I see an EX feature there).
    At the moment, the Sunshine is one of only two venues in NYC showing Monster's Ball, a Lion's Gate offering starring Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry that has been getting a lot of critical attention (rightly so, IMO). It's also showing Kandahar, Behind the Sun and, beginning 12/28, Dark Blue World.
    I'm sure when Landmark planned this opening, they weren't anticipating Sept. 11 or the damage it would do to the tourist trade and downtown generally. It's a rough time to be opening a new cinema, especially one that isn't showing the latest blockbuster on half a dozen screens. I urge everyone in NYC (and surrounding areas) who believes in supporting alternative film to seek out this theater and vote with your wallet in favor of theaterowners who attempt to offer us better viewing conditions for films that rely primarily on the good will of filmgoers. For further information and current showtimes, go to www.landmarktheatres.com.
    BTW, I have no connection with the Landmark organization. I just appreciate good theaters.
    M.
     
  2. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Thanks for this update, Michael. I try to get into NYC to see the latest indie product and I've grown really unhappy with the Angelika lately. The showing there of The Devil's Backbone was misframed and in one of their smallest auditoriums.

    I look forward to checking out this new venue in the very near future!
     
  3. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    I'm sure that more than one Angelika hater is breathing a sigh of relief. I'll check it out soon.

    There was one funny thing about it -- in one of their ads (unless memory fails me completely and it was an article) they claimed that they are the first "art" film theater to have stadium seating. Untrue boasts are par for the course, but it so happens that the first movie theater with stadium seating in NYC (not counting converted balconies) was the Walter Reade and art theater if ever there was one, and still the best movie theater in NYC. If one does count converted balconies, then the first theater with stadium seating would have been the Metro (99 & B'way), which before it got chained & twinned was -- you guessed it an art/revival house.

    Ted
     
  4. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Thanks for the info Michael. Sounds like a great new theater and I am looking forward to seeing some great films there.
     
  5. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    Wow, you guys are lucky to have such a new place for these kinds of films. So next time I'm in New York, who's taking me to these theaters? [​IMG]
    ~Edwin
     
  6. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Yeah, that sounds just like the new kick-ass arthouse here in Indy....
    err, nevermind. [​IMG]
    We're still trying to put together a decent mainstream theater. [​IMG]
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I forgot to mention that, while they last, the Sunshine is handing out to patrons a poster for the theater drawn by Daniel Clowes, the creator of Ghostworld. The poster chronicles the further adventures of Enid. Apparently she ended up living on the Lower East Side, where she patronizes the Sunshine Cinema. The last panel shows her watching herself on the screen (although, in fact, the Sunshine isn't playing Ghostworld -- maybe in a revival).

    M.
     
  8. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Yes, that is a very cool strip -- they used in it some of their ads. I'd better go soon to get the poster -- it would be a good thing to put up at work.
    Edwin, I thought you were in New York -- your thing says "Planet Earth" -- isn't that just another way of saying New York? [​IMG]
    Ted
     

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