Hollywood 2021: Tarantino Buys Vista Theatre on Sunset Blvd.

The Oscar-winning writer-director says the landmark location will likely reopen around Christmas.

Tarantino is now the proud owner of two Los Angeles movie theaters.

The Oscar-winning writer-director revealed Monday on the Armchair Expert podcast, hosted by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman that he bought the historic Vista Theatre on Sunset Boulevard. He also said that the single-screen movie theater will likely reopen later this year. It has been shuttered due to the pandemic.

“I bought the Vista on Sunset,” Tarantino proudly announced, not going into the business nitty-gritty. “We’ll probably open it up around Christmas time. And again: only film. It won’t be a revival house. We’ll show new movies that come out where they give us a film print. It’s not going to be like the New Beverly, which has its own vibe. The Vista is like a crown jewel kind of thing. We’ll show older films, but it will be like you can hold a four-night engagement.”

 

Lazy loaded image
The Vista Theatre on Sunset Drive in Los Angeles, CA, is closed and left the message, To Be Continued…, on its marquee, during the coronavirus pandemic, photographed Tuesday, April 21, 2020. JAY L. CLENDENIN / LOS ANGELES TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES

The landmark New Beverly was bought by Tarantino in 2007. It exclusively shows 35mm and 16mm films, most from Tarantino’s personal collection.

The New Beverly, which reopened in mid-June, has sold out every single night since it welcomed back guests.

The Vista Theatre opened on October 9, 1923, showing both film and vaudeville acts. It seats 400 patrons.

During the podcast chat, there was mention of the shuttered Cinerama Dome, which fans were hoping Tarantino might save. He even featured the L.A. landmark in his film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. “It’s not like they are going to demolish the Cinerama Dome. Somebody’s going to buy it. There are so many different options that could work out,” he said. “I’m not that worried about it.”

Tarantino did not go easy on major theater chains that were forced to close locations due to the pandemic, saying the viewing experience had changed too much, and not for the better.

“Some of these exhibitors that are going — I never like to see any movie theater closing — but some of these exhibitors who are going, they fucking deserve to go,” Tarantino said on the podcast. “They have taken all the specialness out of movies anyway. Some of these chains were they’re showing commercials all through it; they don’t turn the lights down, everything is stadium seating, plastic shit.”

He continued, “They have been writing their own epitaph for a long time, but they assumed the business would take you along. It’s been crazy throughout my career to see how the film experience is lessened for the viewer like every five years. However, I do think boutique cinemas actually will thrive in this time. 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.”