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Cool Video: The History Of The Vista Theatre Since 1923

Vista_Theatre_1980.jpg
The Vista Theatre in 1980 (Courtesy of The Vista Theatre)
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The Vista Theatre in Los Feliz is one of our favorite movie theaters in L.A., and a cool new video from Marketplace takes a look at the 92-year-old theater's history.

The brief video explores how the historic one-screen theater built in 1923, still manages to pack the house. While many of the city's vintage movie palaces have given way to multi-screen, dine-in, 3-D behemoths, The Vista balances the old school charm of classic Hollywood with a few modern flourishes.

Owner Lance Alspaugh tells Marketplace, however, that there's not a lot of room for error for an old theater, especially when it comes to choosing movies to show: “[With] all of the technology, there are so many opportunities for people to not go here,” Alspaugh says. “It’s gotta be something unique that’s attractive to the audience, so they can’t wait to see it.”

In the video you'll see great old photos of The Vista through the years, including the theater's very first screening, the star of which placed her handprints in front of the theater—along with other celebrities—just 13 years ago.

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The theater's most recent renovation restored the original Egyptian-motifs popular when the theater first opened. They also removed every other row of seats to offer plenty of welcome leg room. And they hung on to their 35mm film projector, along with a new digital one, enabling them to show special screenings of new and old films.

While the video doesn't mention the amazing costumes worn by 'Epic Manager' Victor Martinez on opening nights, or the special guests at the midnight revival series 'Nerds Like Us', it's still a great portrait of a Los Angeles classic: