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Touring Leimert's Vision, One of LA's Last Art Deco Theaters

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[All except renderings by Elizabeth Daniels]

What happens to a grand old movie palace whose time has past? Sometimes it becomes a swap meet, sometimes it lays barren, sometimes the city's Department of Cultural Affairs fixes it up and runs it as a performing arts/cultural center. Lucky Vision Theatre in Leimert Park, one of the last two standout Art Deco theaters left in town, got that last one, and lucky us, the wonderful Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation has given us a tour. Howard Hughes built the Vision in 1931 (it was called the Leimert Theatre then) as a highlight of the new Leimert Park neighborhood; El Capitan architect Stiles O. Clements created a design "in the 'French' mode of the Art Deco," as the LAHTF puts it. It operated as a movie theater until 1968; the Jehovah's Witnesses took it over for a while in the '70s; then, in 1990, it was bought and renamed by actress Marla Gibbs of The Jeffersons and 227. The city bought the theater in 1999 and began a huge overhaul in the late aughts (with still more left to do). *Today the DCA rents it out to anyone looking for a theater venue with a super sick ceiling. (No they don't, not yet!)

· Vision Theatre [Official Site]

Vision Theatre

3341 W. 43rd Pl., Los Angeles, CA