Vision Theatre

3341 W. 43rd Place,
Los Angeles, CA 90008

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Showing 26 - 50 of 53 comments

kencmcintyre on April 4, 2008 at 11:15 pm

This 1933 photo was taken at the same time as the first LAPL photo posted on 11/28/05, but from a different angle.

SheilaG on March 22, 2008 at 2:57 pm

This is so cool and brings back so many memories. We used to walk up to the Leimert Theater every Saturday . This was in the mid 50’s to early 60’s. We’d stop across the street at the Thrifty Drug store to buy candy. You could buy 3 candy bars for 10 cents and the larger size bars were 2 for 15 cents. Then back across the street, to where you refer to a Cleaners ( and is pictured in the photograph) but at that time it was a Record store. We saved our allownaces and bought the latest 45’s for under a buck each. I remember it cost 25 cents to get into the movies. And for that price, we got to see two movies, cartoons and even newsreels! Now THOSE were the “Good old Days”!

rrussell007 on September 27, 2007 at 5:14 pm

Thank you ken mc, I just read the article. It would be a great asset to the community if things went well with the renovation of the Leimert-Vision Theatre. Marla Gibbs, the former owner, deserves a lot of credit for her contributions in the community. And on a similar note, I remember the neighboring historic night club that Mrs. Gibbs owned(s), let us not forget Marla’s “Memory Lane”. Briefly looking back at Memory Lane, I recall performing at Marla’s drumming for Johnny “Guitar” Watson, and Sir Lady Java, I also recall seeing the classic comedy team of Leroy, Skillet, and LaWanda (LaWanda Page aka Aunt Ester of the 1970’s Redd Foxx TV sitcom) performing at Marla’s. Marla’s Memory Lane served as host to scores of some of the worlds greatest Jazz, Blues, R&B and Comedy acts, I could go on and on. With the Leimert-Vision Theatre and Memory Lane, Mrs. Gibbs has had in her possession two of LA’s greatest treasures, thank you Mrs. Gibbs. With it’s bold features, the tower of the Leimert-Vision Theatre stands tall and mighty, as if a symboic gesture of the culture which surrounds it. Best wishes and good luck in regards to the renovation efforts and the neighborhood development plans,long live the Leimert-Vision Theatre.

kencmcintyre on September 27, 2007 at 3:17 pm

There was an article about the Leimert in the LA Times today, or maybe it was yesterday. An $11 million renovation is two years from completion. The article should be on the paper’s website if you want the whole story.

rrussell007 on September 17, 2007 at 5:22 pm

More great memories, more great history. The Leiment, the Baldwin, the Vermont. All of these theaters were monuments of fun, excitment, and thrills in my childhood and teen years. When I saw the photos of the Leiment on this page I topped out. It’s the neighborhood in which I have grown up that these buildings once glimmed with life. These days you can not find a new building crafted with the personality that was carved into those theaters. Thank you all for the look back.

stevebob on December 20, 2005 at 8:19 am

I noticed that no one has offered the correct pronunciation for this lovely neighborhood theater. So, for the benefit of folks not from L.A., it is “luh-MERT”. The name of the surrounding area is Leimert Park — roughly bounded by Crenshaw and Leimert Boulevards and Santa Barbara Avenue (now MLK Blvd.).

The Baldwin Hills Center at Crenshaw and Santa Barbara is quite noteworthy since it was the first suburban shopping mall to be developed in Southern California. It was originally anchored — on either side of Santa Barbara Avenue — by a May Company (somewhat reminiscent of the branch at Fairfax and Wilshire) and a Broadway department store (with a beautiful vertical blade sign similar to the one at The Broadway Pasadena on Colorado Boulevard).

But the most remarkable thing to my young, impressionable eyes was a wall clock inside The Broadway! The numbers were on three-dimensional cubes that projected from the face of the clock. It gave the illusion that you were looking at the clock straight-on from wherever you were on the shopping floor. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that this clock survived the conversion into Wal-Mart?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 13, 2005 at 5:02 pm

What is the current name of this theatre?

Manwithnoname on September 29, 2005 at 3:01 pm

Les Ballet Africains performed here in 2004. Correct address is 3341 W. 43rd Pl.
View link

Manwithnoname on September 29, 2005 at 2:43 pm

In 2003 the theater was known as the Vision Theatre and was named that sometime in the ‘90s. It is mentioned in the L.A. Conservancy News in 1998 by that name.

kencmcintyre on September 29, 2005 at 2:07 pm

I will do a drive-by the next time I am close to downtown.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 24, 2005 at 4:52 pm

ken mc:

The Leimert Theatre building included shops along the street frontage. The dry cleaning establishment occupied part of that commercial space. The photograph is not dated, but looks to be from a few decades ago (the style of the signage looks about 1970s), so there’s a good chance that the cleaners is now gone, too.

After it closed as a theatre, for many years the Leimert was operated as a regional assembly hall by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They restored the theatre, the only major alteration being the replacement of the “Leimert” sign on the tower with a sign that said “Watchtower,” referring to their official organization, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. I’m not sure if they still use the building or not, but I’m doubtful that it has been converted into a dry cleaning plant.

kencmcintyre on September 24, 2005 at 4:27 pm

If you don’t know the answer, here is a better picture:

kencmcintyre on September 24, 2005 at 4:26 pm

The LA Library thinks that this theater was converted into a dry cleaners. Are they correct?

JackCarrothers on August 28, 2005 at 3:20 pm

I remember the Leimert from childhood as well (1951-58). Mr Pantages from the theater family was the manager. The sci-fic classic “It Came fromn Outer Space” had a sneak preview there (we loved it and couldn’t believe the alien was changed in final release). The “magic” drinking fountain was controlled by an electric eye – I had completely forgotten about it until Bruceschwa’s comments above. I think we knew it was an interesting architecture but that wasn’t a priority then. We all thought the Academy on Manchester was cooler. I think the last film I saw there was “Love me Tender” with Elvis. We were ejected for making “counter comments” to the girls swooning.

BruceSchwa on August 26, 2005 at 5:04 pm

The Leimert Theatre was a movie palace that I remember well from childhood. That was when the cost was $.09.
My parent would take me there for movies such as, “Show Boat”, “Down to the Sea in Ships” and, later, “Oklahoma."
One unique feature at the Leimert was the drinking fountain. This was before the days when we knew the word technology. The Leimert’s drinking fountain water came on when you leaned over it. We kids just couldn’t figure out how it worked and were fascinated by it.

The Leimert has many good memories. I hope the theatre is always preserved and honored.

trooperboots on January 19, 2005 at 12:53 am

Here is a great closeup from 1968 of the theater entrance…

MagicLantern on September 23, 2004 at 12:04 pm

Some of this theatre can be seen in the film “Collateral”.

William on January 9, 2004 at 11:33 am

This reinforced concrete theatre building is a direct result of the Paris Exposition of 1925, except for the open-work oil derrick tower and signage. The interior ceiling of the oval shaped auditorium still retains its Moderne patterns.