The 1923 Vista Theatre in Los Feliz is an old theater success story. Marketplace takes a (brief) look at the movie hall's long, colorful past, condensing all the good stuff into about two minutes, from the first film ever screened at the theater to restoration details. Explaining its Egyptian-influenced interior decor, Vista owner Lance Alspaugh says the Vista was inspired by the massive set from DW Griffith's infamous 1916 flop Intolerance, which took place partially in ancient Babylon—the Babylon set sat for many years in more or less the spot where the Vista is today. (The LA Conservancy says it's also likely that the 1922 discovery of King Tut's tomb drummed up a fascination with Egypt.)
We also learn that, along with its digital projector, the Vista still holds onto its 35mm film projector. A few directors still only want to show their movies on film—the Vista got to show Christopher Nolan's interdimensional epic Interstellar a week before anyone else because it had the hardware. The short film, of course, also includes some very cool historic photos from the Vista's early days.
· The Vista Theatre is a one-screen wonder [Marketplace]
· Why Does Los Angeles Have a Mall Based on the Babylon Set From the 1916 Film Intolerance? [Curbed LA]