The historic Vision Theatre and the Manchester Youth Arts Center in Leimert Park has closed for final restorations until 2021. In 2011, the Vision Theatre underwent an $11 million renovation. Construction on the final three phases has now begun. Updates to the entertainment space include reconfigured seating; an enlarged stage; a fly loft with office spaces; and a build-out at the lower level to include an orchestra pit and other upgrades to enhance theatrical and musical performances.
“The Vision Theatre is a vibrant landmark of the Leimert Park community; I am delighted that we are entering the final phase of its renovation, the improvements to the theatre are long-awaited and ambitious. For years communities like Leimert Park have ensured access to the arts, and the Vision Theatre has served as a place of connection, celebration, and self-discovery. Upon completion, the Vision Theatre will continue to support the community, both artistically and economically,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson.
“Leimert Park and the Vision Theatre are incubators of our city’s regional artistic community. The neighborhood is considered a centerpiece of the creative and social fabric of African American culture in Los Angeles. It is a place where first dates have turned into marriages, and art, poetry, jazz, and dance have inspired imaginations. When completed, the Vision Theatre will once again serve as a global beacon, celebrating and honoring the cultural contributions of the African American and African Diaspora communities in our city and beyond,” said Danielle Brazell, General Manager of the Department of Cultural Affairs.
“The new ‘vision’ for the Vision Theatre is to provide an arts venue for professional arts presentations and productions; a training center for diverse cultural talent reflective of South LA; and the production and presentation of diverse world-class theatrical performances, music, dance, and film festivals – along with a variety of cultural forums, community meetings, and conventions,” said Ben Johnson, Department of Cultural Affairs Performing Arts Program Director.
“The newly re-imagined Vision Theatre is designed to be the anchor organization for Leimert Park and the African American and African Diaspora cultural community-at-large,” says Johnson, “a celebration of the performing arts — dance, music, and theater; and a resource for all Angelenos.”
“Past community collaborations were created specifically to support and provide visibility to the important artists creating work in Los Angeles, and to bring attention to the gap left by the closure of some of the Black theaters in South Los Angeles. Theatres such as Inner City Cultural Center, Marla Gibbs Crossroads Arts Academy, Ebony Showcase Theater, The Performing Arts Society of Los Angeles, Foxx Follies, Frances William Corner Playhouse, Inglewood Playhouse, and the Watts Mafundi Institute,” said James Burks, Manager of the Vision Theatre.
The Vision Theatre has steadfastly been committed to telling the stories of the community, for the community, as well as for the broader city-wide theatre-going audience. The Vision Theatre will be closed for renovations until 2021 when it will continue this commitment.
For more information about the Vision Theatre, please call 213.202.5500.