Even though it was only there for a shade over 16 years, the Sunshine seemed so much a part of the neighborhood, even though I suppose when it opened we felt "there goes the neighborhood"—we had the poverty mentality of not deserving or expecting amenities. In any event, it was exciting to see that long-abandoned building in use.
A little history, via EV Grieve:
Built in 1898, the Sunshine Cinema building was formerly the Houston Hippodrome motion picture theatre and a Yiddish vaudeville house. After sitting abandoned for many years, the building was renovated ... with the Sunshine opening on Dec. 21, 2001.