By: Ryan Bishop & Elizabeth Norton
From blockbuster films to independent film festivals, there’s a movie theater that has everything all wrapped into one. Right in the heart of the Riverside area, you will never have a bad experience when watching a movie again.
Sun-Ray Cinema is occupying a building that has been there for 91 years and even started out as a movie theater. Riverside Theatre was the only third movie theater in the United States to show movies with sound. A long history has been from this one building from movie theaters to empty spaces and even a club that Marilyn Manson signed his name in before making a full 360 degree turn and back into a movie theater.
Sun-Ray Cinema has a rich history since it opened in 2011. The owners, Tim and Shana Massett both met at the San Marco Theatre & Grill. Tim knew a thing or two about working at a movie theater when he worked at the Alamo Drafthouse in Colorado.
While bringing successful sales at the box office, Sun-Ray Cinema is also known for its inclusion of vegan food. It was even awarded the “most vegan friendly theater in the United States” by PETA. They have vegan options for things like pizza, hot dogs and even milkshakes.
Employee, Stephen Cartia talked about the vegan options saying, “We basically have a vegan option to counter everything that we have like whether its pizzas, hot dogs, sausages, sandwiches.”
The countless food options really draws people into the cinema. Sometimes not even to watch a movie. “I also can say people come here all the time just to eat they don’t see movies they just sit in the lobby and they eat food” said employee Tianna Disalvo.
The theater has had a big impact in the Riverside community. There are many shops that come and go in the 5 Points community, but Sun-Ray Cinema seems to be going nowhere anytime soon. Cartia said, “I think Sun-Ray is a giant staple in it uh especially like there is a lot of businesses that are coming and going and like this place is really striving.”
Sun-Ray Cinema has several independent film festivals that it hosts and even Super Bowl and Oscar watch parties. This theater seems to cater to anyone and everyone.