The people of the Lower East Side have had strong connections to the building at 143 East Houston Street since the early days. Starting in 2001, this building was home to the well-loved Landmark Sunshine movie theater showing independent and art films. Movie fans from all over spent much time in this beautiful 17th century building.
Landmark is a respectable movie theater chain from California that went into business with local entrepreneur Tim Nye, who had signed a 25 year lease on the building. Unfortunately when that lease was up this year, the landlord decided to sell the building to East End Capital and K Property Group for $31.5 million.
The developers are planning to demolish the old building this month and build a 65,000 square foot glass building designed by Roger Ferris to use for office and retail space.
We currently walk by this building on our Tenements Tales and Tastes tour since it is right next to the beloved Yonah Schimmel's Knish Bakery. In the early part of the 20th Century, the building housed the Houston Hippodrome, a vaudeville theater that drew many Jewish immigrants who lived in the neighborhood whose story we discuss on the tour. After the theater closed in the 1950's, it was a warehouse for storage until the movie theater moved in over 50 years later.
Unfortunately, this building like many others in the neighborhood are not preserved by the city's Landmark Preservation Commission because the interior of the building has been significantly changed over the years and it does not qualify. We talk about these concerns and the ever-changing neighborhood. on the tour.
Because you have just a few more days to pay your respects and get one last look at this remarkable building. Demolition will begin soon and then another modern building will take its place. We can't stop the city from changing, but we can tell the stories of these old buildings and support the local small businesses that keep the city unique and diverse.
143 East Houston Street,
New York, NY 10002