Rave to operate former Magic Johnson Theater in Baldwin Hills after renovations

posted by CSWalczak on November 12, 2010 at 7:45 am

BALDWIN HILLS, CA — When $10 million in renovations are completed, Dallas-based Rave Motion Pictures will be the operator of the former Magic Johnson Crenshaw 15 which was closed by AMC in June. The renovated theatre is expected to open in time for next summer’s crop of films.

“Anytime we stand in front of the theater we have a number of community folks that drive by asking questions as to when it’s going to open,” Lombard said. “The community is extremely vested in this theater. This is their theater. So we fully anticipate the same if not higher levels of support then what we saw in the beginning.”

There is more at SCPR.

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Comments (9)

MissAmanda on November 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Sadly, it will be stadium seating. The old Magic Johnson Theater was one of the last of the auditorium-style venues except for two rooms at the end of the east corridor.

CSWalczak on November 12, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Well, whether one likes the changes or not, stadium seating and digital projection are now becoming the standard for just about any newly-constructed or renovated theater. I am sure that most theater operators, especially the big chains, would say that this kind of seating and that type of projection are what the public wants, even though I think digital is still inferior to professionally projected film. For me, the only advantage to digital is that enables these live HD theatrical telecasts that I think are quite good and surpass the old theatrical broadcasts of events of past decades.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on November 13, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Stadium seating is “sad” to somebody? YIKES!

Will never…ever…see a movie here, though.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on November 14, 2010 at 8:30 pm

You gave the Beverly Center another chance, Chris. Give this new theatre a chance.

raysson on November 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Stadium seating really puts a theatre to an advantage. Here in North Carolina,the seating in some of these auditoriums is horrible.

There used to be a Baldwin Hills Theatre or The Crenshaw Theatre…is that still there????

I’ll take films in 70MM over 3-D anyday.

William on November 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm

The former theatre building is still there. But it is a mixed retail center plus a Chase Bank branch.

MissAmanda on November 16, 2010 at 8:05 am

>> Chris Utley posted: “Stadium seating is "sad” to somebody? YIKES!“ <<

Yes. Consider: Stadium seats are in steeply pitched rows. Maybe a young buck can spring up and down the stairs, but us older folk struggle, especially coming down. And the rows are too long, without a center aisle to break them up. Climbing in and out of a full row is difficult.

The few floor-level seats that are provided are too close to the screen for comfort.

And there’s something lacking about entering a theater through a narrow door that opens into a long, dark, narrow side aisle, groping your way along the walls, as compared to entering via double doors that open onto a wide center aisle.

Where is the charm of these stadium-style auditoriums?

Finally, it may have been bad for the seats, but part of the charm of the old style auditoriums was stretching out with your feet on the seat in front of you. Or at the very least, propping your knees up on the back rest (at least the back rest of those seats that didn’t have built-in cup holders to get in the way of your knees). But there is too much space between the rows now for that.

I know the movie palaces of yesteryear are gone forever. But these modern sterile stadium boxes are nothing compared to them.

terrywade on November 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm

What about the people in wheel chairs. Do they sit down front for the big view. I like a theatre with a small slant floor and a large curved screen with curtains that work. Bring back the charm.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on May 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm
  1. I’m short for a guy. The drawback of going to the Cinerama Dome all the time is the tall(er) guy sitting in front of me during the flick (I sit on the sloped floor…not the stadium seats up top). Stadium seating relieves me of that drama. Stadium seating, when done correctly, can be really nice (see ArcLight, Edwards Ontario Mills, Edwards Irvine Spectrum – THE LARGE AUDITORIUMS!).

  2. To clarify for Edward: The reason why I’ll never see a movie here is because of the clientele of the theatre – not the theatre itself. Magic Johnson Theatres in its latter years got (RIGHTFULLY!) pinged as “ghetto” because of its audience behavior. Sadly, despite Rave’s takeover & upgrades, I expect this new location to have the same rep.

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