Jason Reitman Completes Purchase of Westwood’s Village Theater With Coalition of Filmmakers

JJ Abrams, Christopher Nolan, Ryan Coogler and Damien Chazelle are also among the deal’s investors

Westwood Theater investors
Westwood Theater investors (CREDIT: Alex Berliner)

Director Jason Reitman and a coalition of 35 other prominent filmmakers have officially purchased Westwood’s Village Theater, it was announced Wednesday. The former Fox Theater had been put up for sale back in July. Details of the deal were not disclosed. Reitman and crew plan to preserve the theater and create a cultural landmark dedicated to movie-going.

Those who have invested in the theater include JJ Abrams, Judd Apatow, Damien Chazelle, Chris Columbus, Ryan Coogler, Bradley Cooper, Alfonso Cuarón, Jonathan Dayton, Guillermo del Toro, Valerie Faris, Hannah Fidell, Alejandro González Iñárritu, James Gunn, Sian Heder, Rian Johnson, Gil Kenan, Karyn Kusama, Justin Lin, Phil Lord, David Lowery, Christopher McQuarrie, Chris Miller, Christopher Nolan, Alexander Payne, Todd Phillips, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Reitman, Jay Roach, Seth Rogen, Emma Seligman, Brad Silberling, Steven Spielberg, Emma Thomas, Denis Villeneuve, Lulu Wang and Chloé Zhao.

All the investors will be tasked with using their experience to detail every element of the theater, including the picture, sound, programming and lobby galleries.

“Cinema has always been the place where filmmakers and movie goers meet, and I’m thrilled to be collaborating with so many of my favorite directors on a space that will show what the future of film exhibition can be,” Nolan said.

The theater will remain open as plans start to add in a restaurant, bar and gallery. It’s unclear what will happen to the adjacent storefronts that were included in the original listing alongside the theater. In 2031, the Village Theater will celebrate 100 years in operation.

“I’ve been coming to Westwood for as long as I can remember,” Reitman said in a statement. “Many of my movies, including ‘Juno,’ ‘Up In The Air’ and ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ all premiered at the corner of Broxton and Weyburn. When the Village Theater went on the market, I had visions of how quickly the National Theater became a block of condos. I immediately made an offer and hoped my fellow directors would join me on this adventure. We take this stewardship very seriously and hope to offer a true community for anyone who loves the movies.”

The film will soon show a mix of first-run features plus repertory screenings from the theaters directors and caretakers. Projection will included digital as well as the ability to screen in 35mm and 70mm.

The theater first opened in 1931 as part of a series of cinemas opened by Fox Film Corporation founder William Fox — whose name would be the basis of 20th Century Fox. The Fox Village Theater is best known for its 170-foot Spanish Revival tower that looms over Westwood and was designed as a cultural monument by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission in 1988.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.