June 23, 2021 By Christian Murray
The marquee sign at a shuttered Sunnyside movie theater was altered for the third time this year with the perpetrators taking yet another shot at landlord and political candidate John Ciafone.
“Ciafone Lost Again, Long Live Radical Communism,” the sign reads, referring to Ciafone’s unsuccessful run Tuesday in the Democratic primary to represent the 22nd Council District in Astoria.
The latest message comes just months after the perpetrators targeted him by putting up signage that read “Death by Speculation, Starring Limpdick Landlord.”
Another sign went up in May prior to a pro-Palestine rally held in Sunnyside. “From the River to the Sea,” the marquee sign read. Ciafone took it down after residents alerted him to it.
The harsh messages directed toward Ciafone, however, largely stem from his ownership of the 42-17 Queens Blvd. building containing the movie theater. The site has been vacant for about 6 years, although he plans to develop it in the future.
This time the perpetrators sent an e-mail to the media — explaining their behavior.
“Sunnyside Soyboy Strikes Center Cinemas Again,” the e-mail reads, which comes from the address [email protected]
“Our long, unnecessary political primary season has come to an end. While it’s hard to rejoice over some of the candidates that won last night, we can at least come together and celebrate some of those that didn’t.”
The letter also targets Ciafone’s campaign platform, which focused heavily on law-and-order and was very critical of progressives.
“For months, John Ciafone has called us ‘cowards, socialists—no make that communists,’ and more recently ‘a gang of progressive, anti-development radicals…who hate the police.’”
Ciafone came in third, with about 10 percent of the vote, in yesterday’s primary. Tiffany Cabán is the apparent winner with Evie Hantzopoulos coming in second.
It was Ciafone’s third run for the 22nd District council seat, having lost in 2001 and in 2013. He was also unsuccessful last year in his campaign for a judgeship on the Queens Civil Court.
Ciafone told the Queens Post that the perpetrators put up the latest sign at 3:30 a.m. today. He said that his video footage shows that it is the same people who targeted him in January.
He said he doesn’t have footage of the people who put up the pro-Palestine message, although given what’s involved in putting the marquee signage up he believes it is the same people.
“These people should be ashamed of themselves,” Ciafone said. “Don’t they have anything better to do?”
Ciafone, an attorney, described them as “radicals.”
“These people are anti-American,” he said. “The deface private property and try to stop free speech.”
“They hate the police, hate this country, hate Jewish people, hate everyone and are anti-development and against gentrification,” Ciafone said. “These people are destructive not constructive — and they want to take us back to the ’70s and ’80s when the city was saddled with crime.”
He said that he will find out who is behind it and will sue them. He said he would be reaching out to authorities.
“This is really disturbing,” he said. “This can’t continue to go on.”