Quentin Tarantino Buying Second LA Movie Theater
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is set to become the proud owner of a second Los Angeles cinema, announcing that he has purchased the Vista Theatre in Los Feliz.
The Once Upon A Time ... In Hollywood director made the announcement in a Monday episode of the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Vista's seller, Vintage Cinemas, confirmed the sale to the Los Angeles Times Tuesday but didn't disclose financial details.
Tarantino has owned another theater, the New Beverly Cinema in Fairfax, since 2007. The New Beverly exclusively shows movies on film, sticking to 35 mm and 16 mm films that are often from Tarantino’s own collection, the Reporter notes.
The Vista Theatre closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and has not yet reopened, though many other LA theaters have, including Tarantino’s New Beverly. In a June interview with the Los Angeles Times, Vintage Cinemas CEO Lance Alspaugh said that the Vista had remained closed because it was waiting on federal grant funds from the Small Business Administration.
“We can’t do anything until we know we have the government grant; it’s really that simple,” Alspaugh told the Times.
Even if the grant was approved, Alspaugh said he anticipated the theater staying closed until the fall and maybe even through the end of the year for renovations, which will still happen, but under a new owner.
The Vista will reopen around Christmas, Tarantino told podcast hosts. While like its New Beverly counterpart, it will only show movies on film, it won't be a revival house and will play new films as well.
“The Vista is like a crown jewel kind of thing,” Tarantino said on the podcast. “We’ll show older films, but it will be like you can hold a four-night engagement.”
As case numbers have dropped and restrictions around the country have eased, operators that were able to stick it out swooped in. AMC announced it was in talks with multiple landlords of shuttered locations of the two chains to snap up some of the locations. The former ArcLight in the Sherman Oaks Galleria has been taken over by AMC rival Regal Cinemas, the L.A. Times reported.
Vintage Cinemas also owns the Los Feliz 3 theater on Vermont Avenue. Alspaugh told the Times that venue is expected to open this month with programming from the American Cinematheque, followed by the return of first-run movies in August.
Though the movie industry is at work bouncing back from the impacts of the pandemic and generally holding its own against competition from streaming movies, Tarantino said he sees a future for movie theaters like the single-screen Vista.
“I do think boutique cinemas actually will thrive in this time,” Tarantino told the podcast hosts, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “And I am not talking about the La-Z-Boy, order nachos and margaritas. … I actually like the Alamo Drafthouse a lot. But I have a living room, I want to go to the theater.”