Sunnyside Post

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Sunnyside movie theater in danger of being demolished

Sunnyside Center Cinemas

By Christian Murray

The commercial building that is presently occupied by Center Cinemas, PJ Horgan’s and Dime Savings Bank is likely to face the wrecking ball, following a recent sale of the property.

The property, located on the corner of Queens Blvd and 43rd street was sold by Dime Savings Bank for $6.675 million on Dec. 20 to “42-25 Queens Blvd. Corporation,” a newly established firm run out of Astoria.

Michael Christopher, a representative of 42-25 Queens Blvd Corp., said “We have no plans at this point for the property” and have “not decided what to do with it.”

However, local real estate agents expect the new owner to develop the site and build residential units. The annual operating income from the property is $326,000, barely enough to cover the debt servicing on the property.

Furthermore, given the size of the lot (16,300sqf) and the recent up-zoning, a developer can build a structure with a maximum floor area of 68,424sqf. The current building only has a floor area of 16,080 sqf.

The owner of Center Cinemas, Rudy Prashad, said he put a $5.2 million bid on the property. His goal was to keep the existing building so the future of the cinema would not be in jeopardy.

“It’s a neighborhood theater and I wanted to keep it,” Prashad said. “It’s a place where working families can take their kids to the movies and not spend too much.”

Prashad said he had recently spent $600,000 putting in new screens, a sound system and digital equipment.

landmarkPrashad said he was disappointed with Dime Bank since he was in lease negotiations with them for nearly two years prior to the sale. He said the negotiations went back and forth as there was a dispute over flooding and water damage that caused big problems in the theater’s downstairs bathrooms.

He said he then learned that Dime was selling the property through an article on the Sunnyside Post.

The Sunnyside Dime branch, which operates out of that building, is scheduled to close this summer. A letter was sent out to its customers last week saying that their accounts would automatically be transferred to its other branch at 45-14 46th Street.

The cinema’s lease ends December 2014. Meanwhile, PJ Horgan’s lease ends June 30, 2018. Horgan’s has been operating at this location for nearly forty years.

There is also a dentist’s office in the building. Its lease ends Oct. 31, 2014–although there is a provision to extend it.

Original listing:

42-25 Queens Blvd – Setup by Sunnyside Post

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88 Responses »

  1. Y u all not stop doing bc we all hav to be hear! My baby an husbands are most happy in Sunnyside! U can too! If we not because u can’t be we wont be and every1 sad. Good places with park for dogs and kids. Poop

  2. And heres what happens when a bunch of greedy landlords get together and make the neighborhood a Business Improvement District. Thanks Jimmy Van Bremmer for watching the money’s back and not the residents of the neighborhood. Disgraceful.

  3. Texas is looking good!

  4. JULIE! TEXAS????? Have you ever even been so far as decided to use even go want to do look more like? NO! San Antonio SPIT! Arkansas!

  5. Nevaeh, what’s your native language? If it’s English, you have a solid malpractice suit against the schools you attended.

  6. If you build it they will come. NYC is building it and it is coming to Sunnyside. We need to be ready when it gets here!

  7. Seriously? Who cares? This movie theater was good in the early 90’s but now it sucks. The original one had 3 theaters. Then they renovated it and made more theaters which are really small. Its pretty much always been kind of dirty. The food was always stale. And most of the neighborhood worked there and didn’t even care about the place. Bye bye Center! No one even goes to the movies anymore. You can download any movie for free. And besides that everyone goes to Steinway. Kaufman sh*ts on this place. lol

  8. @ NATHAN “Renters should not even have a voice on the future of the neighborhood. They haven’t invested into the neighborhood the way owners have.”
    REALLY???? So i guess 69% of the population in NYC should never have a say in what happens in their neighborhoods. That would have also excluded former Mayor Ed Koch as well..he was a life-long renter.


    Stop your attitude! I work and you too so we can enjoy! Look down on me for education is a big wheel. SHAME. Your not perfect!

  10. @Nevaeh Glad you said that. No one of good faith should be dismissed from this forum. But people of bad faith might consider holding back their comments until they recover.

  11. Nevaeh, Laguardia Community College give a good English as a second language class.

  12. I hear you, Sunnyside Baby. You can get hand-made bagels and freshly roasted coffee beans right on Queens Boulevard, but I’ll bet the majority of Sunnysiders buy their bagels and coffee at the supermarket. When these stores close down,
    people complain. The best solution is to patronize them.

    Unfortunately, the movie theater got run down and there are better options. If if was a quality experience, I would go.

  13. @Nevaeh (Heaven spelled backward, how clever)

    Please point out to me where I claimed to be perfect.

    And, what’s wrong with a decent education, one that allows people to express themselves in proper and grammatically correct English, as opposed to some sub-standard patois?

  14. The theater should not be demolished, but should be remodeled and cleaned, along with retraining employees. If demolished, then finding another theater like this would be hard and far from here. This theater has been the only theater us Sunnysiders can rely on and should never go away. Would you rather enjoy a box-office movie at a cheap price that is here in the neighborhood or would you rather pay more and be far from home.

  15. @Neveah

    I’ve lived in other countries and took the time and effort to learn the language. I considered it paying respect to the welcoming countries and also to my own intellectual growth.

    I have no patience for people who come to this country and can not be bothered to put a noun and a verb together properly. I have no regard for their opinions. They are mentally lazy and disrespectful of this country.

    Take an basic English course, it’s not like asking you to recite Hamlet verbatim or split the atom.

  16. Ruben, aka Sunnysideposthatesme, the ‘hipsters’ aren’t going anywhere, get over it already. Neighborhoods change. Everyone hates these ‘hipsters’? I’d disagree.

    Many of SUDS founders have been here for decades, and we’ve been a group since Fall 2001, getting unanimous approval for the dog run from guess what, people as far away from being ‘hipsters’ as you can get. What is the cut off date for moving here and/or age range for a Sunnyside hipster anyway? I want to see if I qualify. A better park is being built and everyone will benefit. Our ‘hood needed a revitalized space & we advocated for one for 10 yrs and succeeded. You people act like hipsters invented the dog. There are just as many here now as there were my first time in the ‘hood.

    What are you doing to improv Sunnyside for everyone? Your comments here are often amusing and do indeed make me laugh, thanks for that. But, c’mon already. You talk about how hipsters are ruining everything. I’d disagree. I see lots of good things coming from people you would deem ‘hipsters': Stray, Farmers Market, St Pat’s Parade, local bars helping the needy, new park, SUDS rescuing/fostering dogs/raising $ for medical bills people can’t afford, etc etc. Everyone has a special interest group they belong to, be it through Church, Little League sports, politics, education, ethnic groups, animals, athletes, etc. Anyone from one of those groups who actively works to make Sunnyside a better place is doing good work. Is everyone always going to agree on what is best for the ‘hood? Of course not.

    What are you, Mr. Olde Skooler, doing to improve the quality of life here? Step up SPHM, more action, less words.


  17. I’ve been to sold out movies at the theater many times.

  18. @Rick Duro et. al. There are two sides to the situation and both sides have valid points. They have been enumerated many times on this website. The problem is one of respect. The new people don’t have espouse any respect for all the things that people did to make this neighborhood the nice, affordable one it has been for three generations, or if they do, they do not show it properly. Saying, “renters should not have a voice,” “drinking under your window until the wee hours is my right,” and “if you don’t like it, move,” tend to inflame the passions rather than create an atmosphere of cooperation. People who have lived here for many years have welcomed newcomers for nine decades. Scan the archives of any newspaper and you will not find any stories about people being ejected from the neighborhood because they were new. It is the sudden, huge influx that is destabilizing.

    And it just now occurs to me that our community leaders who engineered this change have done a poor job of easing the tensions it created. I wish they would make an effort to ease the tension. It is really destructive as it is.

  19. @86Mets: love reading at your posts. Your comments are witty and sharp. Keep them coming.

  20. I have no problem with new and younger people move in. But use the neighborhood. The number of new people who live here but hang out in Manhattan is ridiculous. They spend no money here…how do I know? Because I met them all during Sandy. Theyd never been to any place in the neighborhood but now they couldn’t leave. Now you see this “middle class neighborhood ” asking for 2k a month for a 1 bedroom . Fir a bunch of people who spend their money in Chelsea or the UWS.

  21. Sycamore is right, the NEW hipsters are the ones that are big stinky D-bags.

    I’m ok with the old hipsters, even though their sandals with socks annoy me.

  22. And I don’t think the interests of the new folks are as misaligned from others. Specifically, I’m younger but what drew me to Sunnyside is the affordability coupled with the commute to work/the city – I love going to PJs and supporting local businesses!!

    I live South of the Blvd. I send my kids to private schools in the city (although due to that cost increase – 35K a year PER KID is beyond my means, moving to Forest Hills w/ P.S. 196), but in any event, in order to send them there, we make the sacrifice of living a very modest life – Sunnyside allows for that life. In fact, it allows for an amazing quality of life with a modest (leftover) income.

    But I have always appreciated Sunnyside and what others have made it because it allowed for us to have access to the city’s top schools and a wonderful, wonderful neighborhood with livable costs [I know how lucky we are for that!] – and I’m genuinely grateful for those who came before who have contributed to the neighborhood and kept cost down.

    I don’t have a dog, but dog parks are free to use and I think its great that we have one. I have kids and no time for pub crawls, lol, but I think its great that they’re organized!

    Sunnyside is truly special.

    [And I have nothing against public schools as a general matter (hence P.S. 196), but I’m zoned for P.S. 199 – and 86Mets has a point tied to the above – I’ve said 100 times ultimately the only thing I care about is education. And there is no way a teacher can address the needs of Netaeh’s kids and mine equally and appropriately if they are in the same class – and they would be because there is no G&T class at P.S. 199 [both mine qualified for G&T].

    P.S. 199 assists a significant population of ESLL students. I’m not apologizing for sending my kids private – I know that’s a “hipster” thing to do and will inflame many on this site – but it is what it is. I pay my taxes, if after that I choose something other than the public school, that’s my choice.]

  23. @123sunny I have not met any individual person whom I find offensive because they are a hipster. My grief over the loss of comfort here is not against any individual. We have all been pawns in Bloomberg’s redevelopment plan. It is his overpowering influence I blame.

    And thank you for appreciating those who came before. Hardly anyone says anything nice to us. And believe it or not many of us dreamed of the improvements, we just thought we would be part of it, not pushed aside by those who eventually came to implement them.

    Its an old story, you raise a passel of kids with love and self sacrifice, and they thank you by pushing you aside and tearing down all you worked to build so they can build the world they envision.

    Its one aspect of aging I find particularly insulting. Many other aspects are deeply rewarding, but not that one.

  24. What really bums me out is the loss of Pj Horgan’s. They will probably re-locate, but the atmosphere cannot be duplicated.

  25. Ruben,

    Sandals w/ sox should be against the law. Tho, my olde world Italian Uncles would do something even worse, shorts, white sox w/ black shoes.


  26. Sycamore,

    I absolutely agree with you on respecting the ‘hood, 100%! There are many people that don’t respect the area and they come from both sides, older residents and newer arrivals. From the rocket scientist with the car alarm that has been going off for 4 hours today, to the dummy that doesn’t pick up after their dog, to the restaurant delivery guy doing 20mph on the sidewalk w/ an e bike, or a drunk urinating outside between parked cars just off of Qns Blvd.

    Patronizing local establishments is vital to the life of a ‘hood: restaurants, supermarkets, pet food stores, etc etc. It’s what people should do. But, again, it’s folks from both sides. I know plenty of residents who have been here for a long time and that shop outside the ‘hood, cars make it easier, so they are just as guilty as the hipster that goes to Manhattan.

    Sadly, the no smoking policy in bars has really had a terrible effect on areas like ours. While the idea is great, it forces drunks outside to smoke, be loud, sometimes fight, etc.

    We need to make sure that people who have spent their lives here do not fall victim to landlords looking to make a quick buck, the question is, how?



  27. I love the movie theater,but my son has never gone to the movie theater.He really wants to go to the movie theater.This is why I never took him to the moviee theater.Trust me,Its happend before.I also don’t want to take him to the movie theater is because he watches plenty of movies at his grandmothers house.We used to have a TV,but when I found out that all he do’s at his grandma’s house is wath TV,I-I just took the TV and hid it in the basment.But now I’m going to the basment and I’m geting that TV!I don’t know why I was so scared!WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!Sorry mom.

  28. Y is this happening?????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. I have all your answers. The problem with Sunnyside is that there is no REAL community. I have a solution for all your needs, including yuppies and hipsters (old and new) and it falls on the new park .

    Let’s be real, you all fear that the latinos will be back and overtake that nice new expensive park as soon as it opens. Being a latino myself I can assure you they WILL be back. like roaches on an old pastrami sandwich. So here’s what should be done.

    Community leaders should promote community events for every Saturday. Get some parents to volunteer to get the kids together for the occasional baseball pick up game this way the kids actually have something to do in the park. Parents get to know each other in the process.

    Then, let’s get some Food cars to pass by and sell some real hipster food. I am sick and tired of that fake farmers market that sets up shop , I want a chocolate kimchi smoothie to wash down my cucumber taco. with this you have two things hipsters love, dogs and food trucks.

    It won’t take much to get this done. Do this and you’ll have a community, you’ll have your voices and most importantly, kids will see that there’s unity in their neighborhood not just people living their own separate lives.

  30. The no-smoking policy forces drunks outside, where they get loud…fight…?

    It’s probably lead to more folks trying to quit, and the patrons inside of the establishment feeling healthier and happier. In the past, I would avoid smoking bars and restaurants; nowadays, I go out to eat on a regular basis. Hard to believe we actually tolerated folks burning tobacco and creating thick plumes of noxious smoke inside a room crowded with people eating their dinner!

    But now, smokers (they’re not all drunks, are they? And not all drunks are smokers, so it’s the combination of these two bad habits? ) go outside and smoke, and then they get rowdy? But if we let them stay inside and smoke, though, they would remain calm? This is quite a theory.

    I love the fact that I was able to quite in 2000. Starting to smoke was the stupidest thing I ever did. The only issue here that is really sad is that there are still people smoking, while the rest of us sweep up their butts and try too ignore the nasty odor.

  31. what happened to the editing of the hatred on this site?
    Everythings fine now that Crowley wished us all a happy Presidents day.
    I am complete now, and at peace.

  32. I’m all for SMOKE FREE bars, restaurants, etc. It’s a horrible habit. I am glad less people are smoking for many reasons. The people standing outside, on a freezing night, in front of a bar are smoking, otherwise they’d be inside.

    One unfortunate circumstance of forcing people to go outside to smoke, is they make lots of noise in the early am hours, the smoke wafts up into people’s windows and, yes, fights do sometimes happen outside. Inside as well, it’s what the effects of booze sometimes causes: beer muscles. We have had whole articles on this page dedicated to bar fights/injuries.

    People in bars tend to drink and some, yes, do get drunk. Everyone, no, but many yes.


  33. Great idea Ruben. Put it together!



  35. @Rick Duro; Speaking about how to prevent “people who have spent their lives here” from falling “victim to landlords looking to make a quick buck,” I think that tenants’ associations are a good place to start, at least in rent stabilized buildings. Buildings with active tenants’ associations can help people get to know each other, (yup, long-time residents and new folks alike,) and can keep an eye on trends that can push out residents. Anyone know if there are any tenants organizations around?

  36. They have clearly made a push in the last year to improve and renovate the theater, and it has been a great option for cheap movies ($5 every day before 5PM) against the $14 tickets in Astoria. It’ll be a shame to lose it.

  37. Am going to miss the theater

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