You are reading

Watch: Video of Suspects Installing Controversial Signage at Shuttered Sunnyside Theater

Image provided by John Ciafone

Feb. 3, 2021 By Christian Murray

Three people altered the marquee sign at the shuttered Sunnyside movie theater early Sunday morning and the landlord has released a video to the Queens Post of the perpetrators.

The prominent Queens Boulevard sign was changed by three suspects who were taking aim at John Ciafone, the owner of the building.

“Death by Speculation, Starring Limpdick Landlord,” the marquee sign reads, which went up at the vacant Center Cinemas, located at 42-17 Queens Blvd.

The video shows three people—equipped with a ladder and yellow safety vests–changing the sign at around 4 a.m. Sunday morning.

Ciafone was alerted to the signage on Sunday afternoon and was taken aback.

“These people are cowards,” Ciafone said. “They did it early in the morning when no one could see.”

He speculated that the perpetrators were part of an activist group. “They are socialists—no, make that communists—who are against development.”

The marquee sign was changed at a shuttered Sunnyside movie theater this weekend (Queens Post)

Ciafone has been subject to criticism since he bought the property off Dime Savings Bank in 2012 and decided that he wanted to develop the property.

To that end, he did not renew the lease of Center Cinemas, which closed in January 2015.

The closure of the old theater was controversial. Residents put together a petition and held a rally outside the theater as they tried to keep it open.

The property was also occupied by PJ Horgan’s Pub and a local dentist when Ciafone bought it. The operators of both were informed their lease would not be renewed and shut about six years ago.

Today, the storefronts remain vacant and the property is undeveloped.

Ciafone, who still plans to develop the site, said the incident Sunday was “mind-boggling,” and said the act was criminal.

“This was very organized, professionally done. They even had the special lettering designed for cinema,” Ciafone said. “You don’t get those letters from Home Depot.”

“I take this seriously and I am going to prosecute. People should not be defacing other people’s property.”

email the author: [email protected]

3 Comments

Click for Comments 
Lock them up

They vandelized someone elses property. Lock them up. People get away with to many petty crimes like this. Its almost as if they know they wont be held accountable because what they did was so stupid and idiotic . Lock them up for 6 months.

Reply
Harry james

I hope they are prosecuted. I dont like the fact that the theater closed but its the property owners buildings and its his investment. So he should be left alone. Its his investment. If these losers owned any property they would understand. Its equivalent to a home owner on say 45st and they want to sell their house for a nice profit and some fool annoying the owner because he wants to cash in on his investment. That theater was terrible at closing. If a new theater was built in the area nobody would have gone here anymore and they would have been saying that place is terrible , why doesn’t the owner sell. Grow up you fools. Hope you get a criminal record because of your stupidity.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.