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Sony to Rename Backstage Theater to Honor John Singleton

”Boyz N the Hood“ director died on April 28 at the age of 51

Sony Pictures is renaming one of the theaters on its lot in order to honor the memory of the late director John Singleton, the studio announced Friday.

Sony said that the Backstage Theater located on its lot in Culver City, California, will now be referred to as the John Singleton Theater.

The director of “Boyz N the Hood,” which Columbia Pictures released in 1991 and was nominated for two Oscars, died on April 28 at the age of 51 after suffering a stroke.

“As the first African American filmmaker to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Director, John broke a major barrier in our industry and inspired a generation,” Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony Picture’s Motion Picture Group said in a statement. “His vision and skill enriched the world with great film and television content and he leaves a tremendous legacy, especially here at Columbia Pictures. We are honored to memorialize him in this way and look forward to dedicating the new theater with his friends and family later this summer.”

“We are so pleased that Sony Pictures will be honoring our father in this way,” Singleton’s children Justice and Maasai Singleton said in a statement. “It is such a fitting tribute given the special place that Columbia Pictures was for him at the beginning of his career.  The studio system was incredibly supportive of him in his work, which is something he deeply appreciated. This is especially touching for us. As children we were often brought to the lot while our father worked. Those days were fun and educational, and laid the groundwork for our own careers today.”

Singleton was also the director of the 2000 remake of “Shaft,” “Higher Learning,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” among others. He was the first ever African American and the youngest person to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director, which he earned for his debut on “Boyz N the Hood.” Singleton’s stark and intimate portrait of life on the streets in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles helped make movie stars out of Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube and Angela Bassett. The story also netted Singleton an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Formerly the Backstage Theater, the newly renamed John Singleton Theater is the Sony’s primary employee and public screening theater on the Culver City lot. The 102-seat theater – one of the studio’s largest – is in the heart of the lot and is used by filmmakers to screen their work in post-production and is the main theater used for employee screenings and special public and VIP screenings.

With 5.1 sound and a Christie CP4220 4K projector, the theater is can screen in all playback formats including Digital Cinema Packages, Real-D 3D, 35 mm and 70 mm film, visual FX (DPX) files and Avid Media files, among others.