3341 W. 43rd Place,
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A large neighborhood movie palace, this 1931 Spanish-tinged Deco wonder has retained its importance to the community for over 80 years since it first opened as the Leimert Theatre on April 21, 1932. It was built by multi-millionaire Howard Hughes as a showcase theatre for premieres. It became a neighbourhood movie theatre soon after opening and was operated by Fox West Coast Theatres. Designed in a classic southern California streamlined Spanish Colonial style, the tall steel frame on top of the lower stucco clad tower originally had the theatres' name on it, and is a landmark for the area.
After showing first run films for decades it was closed in 1968 with Warren Beatty in “Bonnie and Clyde”. The theatre was renamed the Watchtower in the 1970’s, when the Leimert Theatre was converted into a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall.
Actress Marla Gibbs purchased the theatre in 1990 and renamed it the Vision Theatre.
The theatre fell on hard times after the 1992 riots and the economic recession which hit this area of Los Angeles. The bank foreclosed on the property in 1997 and the city took it over.
The theatre was later converted into a performing arts center and participates each year in the Pan African Film Festival.
The Leimert Theatre was used as a location for the movie “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate” starring Martin Lawrence.
The Vision Theatre completed a $11 million renovation in 2012. In April 2018 it was closed for renovations and plans to reopen in 2021. In the early-morning of April 21, 2020 the theatre suffered damage from a fire wich destroyed an adjacent derelict building.
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