There are a whole bunch of reasons the Vista Theatre is a Los Angeles favorite: a kitsch Egyptian-inspired Art Deco interior, extra leg room thanks to every other row being removed, Secret Movie Club’s midnight screenings and longtime manager Victor Martinez’s movie-themed costumes, among them. And now you can add one more thing to the list for the 1923 Los Feliz movie theater: director Quentin Tarantino.
“I bought the Vista,” Tarantino announced on the latest episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. “We’re going to probably open it up around Christmastime.”
The Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood and Pulp Fiction director didn’t have a ton of other details to offer, but it sounds like the single-screen cinema’s vibe will largely stay in tact: It’ll be first-run movies shown exclusively on film, with some older movies thrown into the mix.
It’s the second L.A. cinema in the director’s possession now after he purchased the New Beverly in 2007. That Fairfax-area theater was poised for redevelopment until Tarantino stepped in; ever since he’s programmed the space with 35mm prints of cinema classics, grindhouse fare and his own films (none of those categories are mutually exclusive).
Tarantino talked a bit in the podcast about that theater’s successful reopening, too, and it’s worth listening to the whole interview, if for no other reason than to hear him dunk on ad-filled, stadium-seating theaters by comparing them to “watching a movie at fucking Chuck E. Cheese.” You’ll find the Vista news around one hour and six minutes in.
Vintage Cinemas, which operated Tarantino’s newly-purchased cinema as well as the Los Feliz Theatre, had yet to announce reopening plans for the still-temporarily-shuttered Vista, other than that it would do so “later this year” (according to the L.A. Times, the company was still waiting to receive government funds). It did, however, previously detail its plans for the Los Feliz Theatre, where American Cinematheque will now handle the programming starting this month.