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Center Cinemas Sign to be Rebuilt in Similar Fashion

(Photo: SunnysidePost)

April 29, 2014 By Christian Murray

Center Cinemas’ iconic sign that was destroyed recently is going to be replaced in its original form, according to the owner.

The owner, Rudy Prashad, said the sign will look very similar to what it did prior to a truck backing into it on April 10.  He said it will be the same shape constructed out of plastic– with the four slots where movie titles are erected manually with the old-style letters/font. He said he had decided not to go digital.

Prashad said he would also be cleaning up the graffiti behind the sign. He said the work should begin late next week.

There were several Sunnyside residents who wanted to start a fund to help Prashad restore the sign, which had dotted Queens Blvd in its original form for 60 years. While it is going to cost Prashad as much as $20,000, he said he wanted to thank the community for wanting to help out.

Prashad, who has been a tenant for the past 8-years, has yet to hear from his landlord whether his lease will be extended. It runs out at the end of the year.

On the day the sign was destroyed, Prashad was out in front of the cinema and asked the managing agent Michael Christopher what was the status of the lease. Christopher said that he had contacted the landlord and had not heard a response.

Prashad said the owner only has to provide him with 30 days notice. “I still don’t know what their intentions are,” he said.

(Photo: SunnysidePost)

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I wish they would just get rid of this movie theater. It’s disgusting the carpet hasn’t been changed in years, the seats I don’t even want to touch because how disgusting it is. He’s been complaining about a lease since last year. Just fix the damn place it’s not that hard to put a new carpet at least. And actually take credit cards. I wouldn’t be surprised if the place was infested with all kinds of critters. The only people who still go here are the ones who don’t care what it looks like as long as things aren’t changed. Change happens get over it.

Warwick Jack

The movie houses were Century 43rd with the entrance closer to 42 St.
Century Bliss at 45 St, andCentury Sunnyside at Roosevelt Ave & 51St where the drug store is now. Used to be an A&P.


I like hipsta Thugg’s response. Very positive. If he could spell he would rule the world!


Play nice with our local theatre Landlord. Rudy is a great guy and is willing to invest his money in his business and YOUR property. Give him a lease please. The neighborhood activists don’t want to chain ourselves to the bulldozers and boycott any future retail tenant if new development were to incur. But we will if we have too. A beloved local movie house is more necessary to the neighborhood fabric than a developer stealing it’s soul for the sake of profit driven gentrification.

Patricia Dorfman

thank you, sp, for some good news! rudy prashad is a very nice fellow and the theater is great for the nabe…glad he restoring and not going digital. @marilyn, agree, remodel inside would be welcome. @roxy, well said! @hoof hearted, you are right, tenants in that building need some peace of mind…from what i know of them, the overall building owners are good people.

and on local cinemas: with permission, i took some photos of inside the huge, old “bliss theater” recently, now the jehovah’s witnesses building on greenpoint and 45. they are doing a stellar job of keeping the historic interior up inside and outside. their devotees spend money here and are good neighbors for all.


Rubin, from what I’ve gathered in speaking with my neighbors at the dog run, just about everyone has learned to skip over your remarks. That’s better than censorship- just ignore. You will have to change your handle again! I liked it when you used to be “reubenwithextracheese.”


The correct word for that sign is “marquee.” It has a dual purpose: to identify the theatre and its current attractions, and to protect patrons from inclement weather. The damaged marquee used the original framework from 1942, but had been “streamlined” over the years by removing expensive neon lighting.


@SSPHM You don’t seem to understand how free speech works. Here is a comic strip that explains the first amendment at a level hopefully even you can understand. Take special care in reading the last three panels as they apply directly to the point you are trying to make about being censored.


Stop blocking my comments Sunnyside Post, You want to censor free speech i’ll expose this slanted news site for being a shill for political agendas.

hipsta thugg

sunnyside had 4 legendary theaters back in the day, glad to see this one still survives. I think the others are still around – the jehovahs witness bldg and the old nelson christmas tree shop building.

Speaking of legendary… and then there was the Popcorn Club where KISS played their first gig and others played like Link Wray, NY Dolls and a young cindy lauper. I think the Ramones played one gig. This was on the site of the current Red Wing Shoes.

There are videos of these KISS shows on youtube.


Hooray Sunnyside Theater!!! I love the cheap rates, the curious characters and the “rustic” decorum. Astoria can keep their fancy schmancy theater with the clean bathrooms and carpets. I love my Sunnyside Theater 🙂

some guy

Why is he bothering? That landlord WILL kick him out and put up an ugly cheap building with cookie-cutter apartments that hipsters will rent in a minute.


How dare he touch that beautiful artwork. Calling that graffiti shows how close minded he is. Hopefully there will be a court order to stop that iconic street art from being destroyed.

longtime resident

What is “iconic” about the original sign? If anyone had asked me to identify the sign from a line up of similarly aged theaters, I couldn’t have done it.

Hoof Hearted

Too bad the landlord doesn’t have the decency to give him a yes or no regarding the lease.


Hallelujah! Congratulations to those who helped fund the restoration project. I’m very happy the sign will be in a similar fashion. This is one of many examples why it’s important to preserve Sunnyside’s real character.

I will miss it to. But at least it’s not one of those ultramodern signs that we now see in theaters everywhere.


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