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A-list Hollywood directors unite to save historic Los Angeles theater | Los Angeles

A-list Hollywood directors unite to save historic Los Angeles theater |  Los Angeles


This week, a group of A-list Hollywood directors, including JJ Abrams, Guillermo del Toro and Gina Prince-Bythewood, I took a group photo outside one of Los Angeles' historic movie theaters.

This was not an Oscars event. Instead, the directors announced that they were the new caretakers of the Village Theater in Westwood.

The theater, known for its iconic white spire, opened in 1931 and has hosted film premieres for decades. It was previously operated by Regency Theaters, a small chain.

Last year the theater was expanded for sale. Led by Jason Reitman, director of Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Up in the Air, a group of more than 30 directors embarked on the adventure, including Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan and Bradley Cooper.

The group said in a statement that it wanted to preserve the theater as a cultural center for movie fans and use it to publicly display some of its personal collections of props and costumes.

Spielberg said he wanted to help the theater return to its glory years as a cinematic cultural institution.

Chris Columbus, who directed the Home Alone and Harry Potter films, said he would share part of his collection of 16mm film prints. He called the theater a cinematic miracle.

“I’m excited to collaborate with so many of my favorite directors on a space that will show what the future of film exhibition can be,” Nolan said.

Terms of the acquisition of the theaters, including the purchase price, were not disclosed. The Village, also known as the Fox, opened in 1931 and was named a Los Angeles Cultural Landmark in 1988.

Reitman told the Los Angeles Times that he went to the theater with his father, director Ivan Reitman, when he was a child, and also held several of his own premieres there, including for his 2007 film Juno .Last summer, when Reitman learned the theater was for sale, he also heard that some potential buyers wanted to turn it into a concert hall or retail store.

I immediately made an offer and started contacting directors I knew, he told the Times. The more he talked to filmmakers, he said, the more I heard the same thing, that we unknowingly had a shared vision of collectively owning a movie theater that could serve as a community center for everyone who loves cinema.

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Reitman said the theaters' offerings would reflect the eclectic tastes of its multigenerational owners, from Nolan, whose most recent film was Oppenheimer, to Emma Seligman, whose most recent film was Bottoms, a queer high school comedy about a all-female fight club. .

We want this to be a showcase for first-run films on one of the biggest screens in the country, with the best picture and sound. And simultaneously, a place where you can see independent films, international films, big-name films, programmed by one of your favorite directors, Reitman told the LA Times.

Other new owners of the theater are: Judd Apatow, Damien Chazelle, Ryan Coogler, Alfonso Cuarn, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, Hannah Fidell, Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu, James Gunn, Sian Heder, Rian Johnson, Gil Kenan, Karyn Kusama, Justin Lin , Phil Lord, David Lowery, Christopher McQuarrie, Chris Miller, Alexander Payne, Todd Phillips, Jay Roach, Seth Rogen, Emma Seligman, Brad Silberling, Emma Thomas, Denis Villeneuve, Lulu Wang and Chlo Zhao.

The Associated Press contributed to this report




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