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Sunshine Cinema replacement building (r, East End Capital) Sunshine Cinema replacement building (r, East End Capital)
Whether as a vaudeville theater or an art-house film destination, the Sunshine Cinema, at 141 East Houston Street has been a Lower East Side fixture on for more than a century. However, its replacement couldn’t be further removed from the community or its surroundings. As first reported by the New York Post, the theater was sold for $31.5 million to developers East End Capital and K Property Group, who will redevelop the theater into a commercial tower with retail and offices.
141-East-Houston-Street-1 The Landmark Sunshine Theater in its heyday (Photo via Rael Architecture(s))
More recently the developers launched a website marketing the spaces. Renderings show an icy nine-floor building with a landscaped terrace on the fifth floor and a narrow alleyway with a garden wall along the western elevation. The glass-and-metal-framed building is being designed by Roger Ferris and will be “unbounded by walls,” according to the developers.

The ground floor space will have 60 feet of frontage along East Houston Street, built-in capacity for a commercial kitchen, and outdoor seating along "Houston Alley." Upstairs, the column-free offices will have 12’ ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, concierge services, and private outdoor terraces. Shared amenities include an executive conference center and a roof terrace.
141-east-houston-03 "Houston Alley"
While many recent condo buildings have all-glass facades (ahem, 150 Rivington Street, 100 Norfolk Street, and Blue at 105 Norfolk), there are no comparable commercial buildings in the neighborhood. Developer East End Capital crows that this is “the only new development of its type on the Lower East Side.” Many blocks south in Chinatown, another antiseptic office tower by Yeung Real Estate is nearing completion at 100 East Broadway.
It is true that the lower Manhattan no longer suffers from a lack of movie theaters: The Metrograph’s eclectic selection of classic films and newer releases can be found on Ludlow Street, and a Regal Cinemas multiplex with all the latest blockbusters is coming to Essex Crossing. Nevertheless, the vibe, coziness, and camaraderie of the Sunshine Cinema cannot be reproduced. RIP.
Content Specialist Michelle Mazzarella Michelle is a contributing writer and editor for real estate news in New York City