Springsteen Documentary Premiering at Sunshine Cinema

Look out for long black limousines and pink Cadillacs on East Houston Street this evening: Springsteen & I, a new documentary about the Boss, is making its U.S. debut at the Landmark Sunshine theater at 6 p.m.

Sunshine Cinema Returns to CB3 in Quest For Liquor License Next Month

The Sunshine Cinema is applying for a new liquor permit. Photo via: Cinema Treasures.

Community Board 3 just published the agenda for next month’s liquor license hearing.  There are several interesting items listed, including a return engagement by the management of the Sunshine Cinema, which is transforming the East Houston Street landmark into a “dinner/drinks/and a movie” venue. Back in December, CB3 turned the Sunshine team away, saying their application was incomplete.

Also on the agenda, a business dubbed the “Cow Theater” is seeking a wine and beer permit at 21 Clinton, Currently the home of the Living Theatre (the legendary theater company is moving out of the space after its current production ends).  The new applicant appears to be Tyler Maganzini, who runs the Black Mountain Winehouse in Brooklyn.

Click through for the full agenda.

Delicatessen Returns to the Midnight Movie at The Sunshine

A still from the 1991 film, Delicatessen, by Jeunet & Caro.

The fabulous French film Delicatessen will grace the screen at The Sunshine Cinema this weekend in the midnight time slot on Friday and Saturday.  The film was directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro (creators of The City of Lost Children and Amélie) and is a funky version (in my opinion) of Sweeney Todd.  Told in a totally unique style, which they claim to be a tribute to Terry Gilliam — but nobody makes films like Juenet and Caro — the story is touted as a “wonderfully macabre comedy about an enterprising butcher’s solution to meat shortages” (and is set in a post-apocalyptic France of an ambiguous time period). It’s a timeless classic that I guarantee is even better when viewed on the big screen.

143 East Houston Street // midnight Jan. 11 & 12 // $10.

Sunshine Cinema Says Alcohol Permit is Key to Staying on the LES; CB3 Balks

The Sunshine Cinema is applying for a new liquor permit. Photo via: Cinema Treasures.

Last night, representatives of the Landmark Theatre Company told members of Community Board 3 that their plan to sell alcoholic drinks at the Sunshine Cinema offers the only hope of keeping the art house theater at 143 East Houston Street.  But citing an incomplete application and concerns about the scale of the proposed liquor permit, CB3′s SLA Committee sent them away with a tongue-lashing and the threat of rejection.  Executives from the company withdrew their application for the time being.

Mike Fant, Landmark’s senior vice president for real estate,  said the company will soon be renegotiating its lease in the historic 1898 building on East Houston Street that has served as a center of independent film downtown for more than a decade.  He indicated that the property owner expected to have multiple offers from other theater companies.  In anticipation of a big rent increase,  Fant said, Landmark wants to invest $1 million to transform the Sunshine into an upscale venue for drinks, dinner and film.

Midnight at the Sunshine: Revisiting and Reveling in Film Faves

Photo via: Cinema Treasures.

Editor’s note: The following article first appeared in our June print magazine. It was written by TLD contributor Giacinta Frisillo.

Second-run films are first-rate fodder for a fun, rowdy, happening time Friday, Saturday, and sometimes Sunday nights at the Lower East Side’s Landmark Sunshine Theatre. That’s when the Houston Street cinema turns from independent and experimental to weird and a little bit wacky. The Midnight Movie at Sunshine offers a unique chance to recreate the experience you had while watching the films you loved — or loved to hate — on the big screen the first time around. Re-watching with audiences as caught up in the show as these nighttime moviegoers are keeps the magic of the movies alive.

“The crowd tends to be very different at night,” notes Hanlon Smith-Dorsey, the house manager at Sunshine. “The midnight crowd has to be up for staying up late. They’re usually younger and hipper, and sometimes even nerdier.” Making a case in point, Mitchell Fesh, an usher, recalls when Super Mario Bros. ran. “People came in with the T-shirts on and were really jazzed! The fandom was incredible.”
And since Landmark Theatres opened Sunshine in New York City in 2001, the fan base for the Midnight Movie has been a solid staple. After it began in Los Angeles as a theater playing second-run and cult films, its operators believed there was a market on the East Coast. And they were right. Cas Pineda, who sometimes works in the box office during the late showings, knows of “one guy who comes to every single Midnight Movie there is.”

“Pariah” Opens at the Sunshine Cinema Today

Aasha Davis as Bina and Adepero Oduye as Alike in ``Pariah.''

There’s a noteworthy opening at the Sunshine Cinema today. Pariah is the story of a young black woman from a traditional Brooklyn family coming to terms with the fact that she’s gay.  It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and is generating quite a bit of “Oscar buzz.” The LA Times says it’s a “street smart story” that, while a little “rough around the edges, ” is believable, subtle and tender.  Click here for tickets and show times.

 

Sunshine Cinema Joins Zip Card Program

Our new partner, the 10002 Zip Card, is featuring some good deals.  A new participating business, the Sunshine Cinema, is offering two for one movie tickets. Plus Pimps & Pinups, the salon at 101 Stanton Street, has a 10% discount for Zip Card members.  Joining is absolutely free. Head on over to the Zip Card web site for details.

Coming Up Saturday: Formula One Cars Roar onto Forsyth Street

Ayrton Senna, who died in a racing crash 17 years ago.

The Lower East Side isn’t much of a hotbed for auto racing (unless you’re talking Delancey Street). But on Saturday the area around the Sunshine Cinema is the place to be for Formula One fans. In conjunction with the premiere of Senna,” a documentary recounting the life and fiery death of racing champion Ayrton Senna, there be a big display of exotic sports cars – including two historic Formula One cars (from the 1970′s).

Race car driver Alex Roy will be on hand with his BMW M5 (the car he used to set the 31 hour and 4 minute transcontinental LA-NYC record). Senna writer Manish Pandey and ESPN commentator John Bisignano will also be there. The cars will be lined up on Forsyth Street between Stanton and East Houston strating at 11 a.m. You can check out the Senna Facebook page for more info.

 

Great Prizes Up for Grabs at LES Trivia Night!

A Russ & Daughters Classic Bagel and Lox Sandwich, one of the many great prizes proffered, via gift certificate, at LES Trivia Night with The Lo-Down (photo via Lox Populi at russandaughters.com)

Did we mention there are some fantastic local prizes to be had at our LES Trivia Night tomorrow evening?  Along with tasty snacks and great drink specials on hand, winners of each round of trivia will be treated to some great LES staples, including free movie passes from the Sunshine Cinema, pickle gift certificates from The Pickle Guys, a book basket brimming with books from the Tenement Museum’s bookstore and to top it all off, Grand Prize winners will garner a Russ & Daughters gift certificate for a bagel sandwich!

Join us with the Tenement Museum at Fontana’s!  We look forward to enjoying a fun evening on the LES.  FREE // 6:30pm // 105 Eldridge Street.

Laughter and Adventure For All in This Week’s Midnight Movie at The Sunshine

Buttercup & Westley prepare to face the Rodents of Unusual Size (ROUS) via princessbrideforever.com

The Midnight Movie at The Sunshine offers up fun for the whole family this weekend with everybody’s favorite fairy tale (and comedy/adventure), The Princess Bride. Perhaps one of the most quoted films of all time, director Rob Reiner expertly mans the helm of the adaptation of William Goldman’s novel. Silliness and swordsmanship abound in the witty screenplay.  The superb cast features a young Carey Elwes and Robin Wright along with comedy and stage veterans Mandy Patinkin, Peter Falk, Wallace Shawn and Christopher Guest, not to mention fantastic cameos from Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, and Peter Cook. $10 // Friday and Saturday at Midnight // 143 East Houston Street.

Clue Comes to the Midnight Movie at the Sunshine

Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean and Madeline Kahn team up in Clue, at the Sunshine this weekend.

When it appeared in theaters in 1985 with three separate endings, the movie version of Clue (based on the popular board game) received mixed reviews.  It has since developed a cult following and big appreciation for the charming performances by the heavy hitting ensemble cast featuring Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Madeline Kahn and Lee Ving.  If you like slapstick served with mystery mayhem and some brilliant deadpan acting, this is a great way to wrap up Spring Break.  $10 // Friday and Saturday at midnight // 143 E. Houston.

Roger Rabbit at This Week’s Midnight Movie at the Sunshine

The classic film Who Framed Roger Rabbit will be gracing the screen at the Sunshine Cinema’s Midnight Movie this weekend.  One of the first films to brilliantly combine live action with animation, the wacky comedy cartoon noir/thriller features Bob Hoskins as a toon-hating private detective defending the wrongly accused toon star Roger Rabbit (Charles Fleischer), while trying to keep his hands off Roger’s wife, the now infamous cartoon diva, Jessica Rabbit (Kathleen Turner).  Christopher Lloyd voices the villain, Judge Doom, and Joanna Cassidy stars as the detective’s girlfriend. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. $10 // Friday and Saturday at midnight // 143 E. Houston.

Rat Honors, Keanu at the Sunshine, LES Reality Show

  • We’re number 2! Lower East Side is city’s second most rat-infested neighborhood (Daily News).
  • East 5th Street Block Association intends to fight liquor license for “craft beer focused” restaurant (EV Grieve).
  • Keanu Reeves enjoys a “jolly and casual” – and low key – movie premiere at the Sunshine (NYT)
  • The world’s greatest storyteller takes on the LES (Post).
  • Uh oh. Lower East Side to get its own “Jersey Shore” style reality show? (Gothamist)

Three Nights of Jurassic Park at the Sunshine This Weekend

Although it’s not exactly a holiday weekend for everyone, President’s Day (Mon., Feb. 21st) is as good an excuse as any to catch an extra night of the midnight movie at the Sunshine.  Especially when they are screening Steven Spielberg’s innovative CG classic, Jurassic Park (1993). What’s more fun than a bag of popcorn and giant prehistoric creatures (on the big screen) wreaking havoc on the likes of Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum? $10 // Feb. 18-20 // Midnight // 143 E. Houston Street.

Rear Window Graces Sunshine’s Midnight Movie Screen

Hitchcock fans rejoice; you can catch Rear Window on the big screen this weekend at the Sunshine Cinema’s Midnight Movie. Grace Kelly never looked so smart (and glamorous) and Mr. Stewart is pretty witty in that wheelchair.  Thelma Ritter plays an excellent sidekick to them both. Somehow this apartment gazing, peeping tom thriller has endured, and still manages to entice, especially if you get to see it projected as it was meant to be seen. $9.99 // Fri. and Sat. at midnight // 143 East Houston Street