Quentin Tarantino buys L.A.’s beloved Vista Theatre

The Vista Theatre on Sunset Boulevard with the marquee reading "To Be Continued ..."
The Vista Theatre on Sunset Boulevard.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Quentin Tarantino dropped some news for L.A. moviegoers in the Monday edition of the podcast “Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard”: Tarantino has bought the Vista Theatre in Los Feliz.

“I’ll announce one thing here that people don’t know yet: I bought the Vista,” said Tarantino, who already owns the New Beverly Cinema, which recently reopened after being closed for more than a year due to the pandemic. A spokesperson for Tarantino later confirmed the news to The Times.

Tarantino said on the podcast that he was planning to open the theater by around Christmas. The New Beverly has an extremely dedicated fanbase partly because of Tarantino’s involvement in programming the movies shown at the revival house, which only shows movies on film, not with digital projection. Of the Vista, Tarantino said, “And again, only film.”

“But it won’t be a revival house,” Tarantino added. “We’ll show new movies that come out, where they give us a film print. We’ll show new stuff.


“It’s not gonna be like the New Beverly. The New Beverly has its own vibe,” said Tarantino. “The Vista is like a crown jewel kind of thing. So it’ll be like the best prints. We’ll show older films, but they will be like older films that can hold a four-night engagement.”

While many local theaters have reopened, the Vista has not. Lance Alspaugh, who owned the theater since 1997, said in a recent interview with The Times he had been waiting on long-delayed government grants before reopening.

“It’s bad that we’re all having to wait, that it’s as slow as it’s been,” he said. “It’s the difference between if you reopen or do you not reopen.”

Alspaugh also said: “I constantly caught myself wondering during the pandemic, ‘Is it time to get offstage?’ I’m looking forward to getting back, and we’re going to, methodically and slowly.”

Alspaugh also owns the Los Feliz 3, which recently struck a programming partnership with the American Cinematheque. He could not immediately be reached for comment on the Vista news.

Tarantino recently published his first novel, an extension of the world first seen in his 2019 movie “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.” While making the rounds of podcasts to promote the book, Tarantino had been making headlines for his continued disparaging comments on martial arts star Bruce Lee, which had caused much controversy around the time of the film’s release.

Tarantino’s comments inspired Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter, to write a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter in which she said, “I’m really f— tired of white men in Hollywood trying to tell me who Bruce Lee was.”


Lee added: “At a time when Asian Americans are being physically attacked, told to ‘go home’ because they are seen as not American, and demonized for something that has nothing to do with them, I feel moved to suggest that Mr. Tarantino’s continued attacks, mischaracterizations and misrepresentations of a trailblazing and innovative member of our Asian American community, right now, are not welcome.”