The building is often referred to as "abandoned", although it technically never has been, simply remaining out of use as a business for decades.
The timeline on ICWXP has yet to be officially established, but at some point (presumably in the 1950's or 1960's), the theater was owned and operated by mad inventor, Dr. Harrison Blackwood. Blackwood claims it was an "impulse purchase".
Blackwood created several "sentient worker droids" to aid in maintaining the building and running the day-to-day business of the theater. Among these creations were Topsy Bot 5000, Johnny Cylon and most likely Flux Namtari.
Another addition Blackwood made was to construct an elongated hallway complete with an impenetrable series of doors leading to Theater 6.
Blackwood's remaining robot creations would years later explain to Commander Rick Wolf that the awful films he would select for runs at the theater revealed that the bizarre hallway was installed to keep captive audiences. This would result in Cine-A-Sorrow being shutdown. As Johnny Cylon put it,"appearently, it's actually a crime to lock several people in a large room with faulty wiring against their will".
In Host Segment 2 of Episode 104, Topsy mentions that movie goers may have died at the theater, in particular, watching the film The Hideous Sun Demon (although, this may have merely been said for comedic effect).
After the doors closed, Blackwood retreated to the sub-basement workshop he'd engineered for himself beneath the theater, deploying robots and other unmentioned means to run off new potential owners. Before long, the building was boarded up and left to rot.
Decades later, during the zompocalypse, Rick Wolf would shoot the locks off the entrance to the theater and take refuge from the murderous chaos outside.
What's InsideEditAs of Episode 104, only two locations within Cine-A-Sorrow have been revealed: the concession stand where Rick and the 'bots appear to spend most of their time, and Dr. Blackwood's workshop. Other locations have been referenced, and series creator Rikk Wolf has stated in DVD commentary that future movie break segments will take place in new locations, possibly even outside the theater.
Since the theater Rick and the 'bots watch their films within is called Theater 6, it's implied there are at least five other theater rooms within Cine-A-Sorrow. This has never been discussed on the show, however.
Blackwood apparently installed reinforced security shutters at some point probably with the original intent of keeping out trespassers or potential new owners. These same shutters would later serve to keep zombies from entering the theater (at least through the front of the building). Rick is able to open these shutters with a button located at the concession stand (Host Segment 1, Episode 102).
Jonathan Kincaid appears to be able to control some of the building's functions with his smartphone. This would indicate that the theater has some kind of control system tied into a network that can be controlled through wireless phone connections.
"Cine-A-Sorrow" seems to be a parody of common movie theater names such as Cinemark. The "sorrow" in the name would appear to be referencing the pain caused to anyone who is unfortunate enough to view a film at the theater, due to its roster of bad movies.