Living in Leimert Park I pass the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza pretty frequently. I’ve noticed in the last week or so that Magic’s name has disappeared from the multiplex movie theatre he helped established 15 years ago. Turns out that AMC closed the theatre down officially on June 13th; however the theatre will undergo a $10 million renovation thanks to Capri Urban Investors, owners of the mall themselves. The movie theatre renovation is the beginning of a $30 million renovation to the entire mall.
Magic Johnson had this to say about the theatres’ closing:
“I am deeply saddened to learn of AMC’s decision to close the Magic Johnson Theatre at Crenshaw Baldwin Hills Mall,” Johnson said in a statement. “AMC purchased the Magic Johnson Theatres several years ago. This was my first (theater), so a piece of me will definitely close with it. I want to thank the community for their support and loyalty over the years. The (theater) has truly been the heartbeat of that community.”
As a resident of this community, I am personally excited about this renovation. Capri Urban Investors, which is a Black owned and operated company, plans to take into account the needs and wants of the residents of this area. I hope they understand that Black folks shop for more than tennis shoes and baby clothes. With Walmart as an anchor store, this mall doesn’t offer much, and we know Macy’s is here begrudingly since they closed their doors on us in 1999. It was sheer luck that they acquired Robinsons-May and ended back over here anyway. Hopefully a $30 million investment will bring us a more diverse selection of retail stores so we can spend our money within our community.