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You Can't See 'Straight Outta Compton' In Compton

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Straight Outta Compton may be breaking box office records across the country, but the city where the film is set is one place you can't see it.

That's because there are no movie theaters in Compton. Sure, movie goers from Compton could travel north to South Gate or east to Paramount or south to Carson—or really almost anywhere else across L.A. County—to see the film that took inspiration from their own city. But locals—or anyone looking for a meta-movie-going experience—will have to head, well, straight out of Compton to see what everyone is talking about.

“It’s a low income area, it’s been heavily dis-invested in,” USC professor of sociology Manuel Pastor tells CBS LA. “When you live in a community that doesn’t have that kind of retail, it’s a sign that the community is devalued and people within the community feel devalued.”

Of course, Compton did once have movie theaters—perhaps most famously the Compton Drive-In and the Fox Compton Theatre, but both were demolished many years ago.

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The good news is that there is a 16-screen movie complex planned for Compton in the near future. Compton City Manager Johnny Ford tells CBS LA, “Seventy percent of that would be the movie theater, and then there would be an additional thirty percent retail space.”

There are also plans to build a new arts and entertainment center for kids in Compton, which will receive a major boost when Dr. Dre donates the royalties from his upcoming album. The album, appropriately titled Compton, is a companion piece to the movie.