As you might have heard, they closed the Magic Johnson Theater in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza officially on June 13th. I don’t know about you but, Magic Johnson is a childhood memory in fact the whole plaza is. Turns out, as reported by a fellow BlackIs blogger, “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.” (Click here for that post.) As I was holding a conversation with a few friends, they expressed their feelings towards the renovation of Magic Johnson saying, “I’ll give it 2 months before they fuck it up after it reopens” and “that community doesn’t deserve it.”
The Crenshaw District does not have the best reputation; however they work with what they have and what they know. The community Magic Johnson caters to has suffered long enough with helicopters every night, schools and teachers who have no intention of educating, and a lack of jobs to name a few. Places like Magic Johnson Theater and the mall are places where those people can relax, relieve stress, enjoy themselves, their family, and their community. And if you still think the community doesn’t deserve a remodeled mall and movie theater than think about this: maybe the community is the way it is because no one is willing to give them the time of day. Now that they say they’re worth something, they will cherish it and wish for more.
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.