Westwood's Majestic Crest Theatre, a protected city historic-cultural monument, has been dark since the fall of 2011, but there are now signs of returning life. The theater's distinctive marquee, which reportedly costs $22,000 a month to keep lit, has been on intermittently for the past few months and meanwhile, the theater's Facebook page indicates an effort is on to reopen the theater, built in 1940 by Frances Seymour Fonda, the mother of Jane and Peter Fonda. There was a post on April 1 announcing the theater was on the path to reopening, with the page's moderator assuring commenters it wasn't a joke. A follow-up post on April 27 announced "... the digital projector is in tip-top shape and looks and sounds incredible (as does our trusty 35mm!). We even popped a batch of popcorn making sure our amazing kettle still works (and yum, does it ever!) Hopefully in the next month or so, you'll see the marquee shining brightly again in Westwood!"
The Crest has been been on shaky ground since 2008, when owner Robert Bucksbaum tried to unload the beaut, which has about 450 seats and some eye-catching blacklight images of 1930s-era LA vistas. Bucksbaum finally sold the theater two years later to a company called Bigfoot Entertainment, a production company that makes action and horror films. Bigfoot intended to showcase their movies at the Crest, but instead closed it in October 2011, reportedly for renovations, and has yet to reopen it.
Even though Bigfoot put the theater up for sale in December 2011, the company still owns it, according to a post by the theater's Facebook moderator on April 27: "Bigfoot still owns the theatre, but we're the new tenants and are in charge of all operations. More news coming... we promise!"
The Crest--which has gone through various names--was designed as a live performance venue by Arthur W. Hawes in the late thirties, turned into a movie palace during World War II, and given a total Art Deco makeover in 1987. It was named a historic-cultural monument in 2008.
· Majestic Crest Theater [Facebook]
· Majestic Crest for Sale [Curbed LA]