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]

2 Comments

Click for Comments 
Anonymous

Yikes! All that money and still can’t buy a sense of humor. Take a joke Ciafone; you’ll be ok.

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

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

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.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.