Jason Reitman Among Coalition Of Top Filmmakers Finalizing Acquisition Of Westwood’s Village Theater

A coalition of leading feature directors led by Juno‘s Jason Reitman has finalized its acquisition of Westwood’s historic 93-year-old movie palace, the Village Theater.

Other top filmmakers joining him as investors in the deal, first spotlighted recently by The Ankler, include J.J. Abrams, Judd Apatow, Damien Chazelle, Chris Columbus, Ryan Coogler, Bradley Cooper, Alfonso Cuarón, Jonathan Dayton, Guillermo del Toro, Valerie Faris, Hannah Fidell, Alejandro González Iñárritu, James Gunn, Sian Heder, Rian Johnson, Gil Kenan, Karyn Kusama, Justin Lin, Phil Lord, David Lowery, Christopher McQuarrie, Chris Miller, Christopher Nolan, Alexander Payne, Todd Phillips, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Reitman, Jay Roach, Seth Rogen, Emma Seligman, Brad Silberling, Steven Spielberg, Emma Thomas, Denis Villeneuve, Lulu Wang, and Chloé Zhao.

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Each will have a say in everything from the presentation of picture and sound to the lighting, theater programming, and experiences in the lobby galleries. They’ll also be using the venue as a showcase for artifacts from their personal collections, including props, wardrobe, and film prints, with Columbus to share his extensive collection of 16mm film prints.

Going forward, the theater will showcase a mixture of first-run films and repertory programming from the theater’s caretakers, whose mission is to preserve the Village as a cultural landmark. The idea, per Del Toro, is “to ensure perfect screening conditions,” while preserving the Village as “a place where filmmakers and cinephiles and future filmmakers can gather to celebrate and discuss the art and the craft collectively.” Projection will take place in 35mm, 70mm and digital.

“I’ve been coming to Westwood for as long as I can remember. Many of my movies, including Juno, Up In The Air, and Ghostbusters Afterlife all premiered at the corner of Broxton and Weyburn,” recalled Reitman in a statement on the deal. “When the Village Theater went on the market, I had visions of how quickly the National Theater became a block of condos. I immediately made an offer and hoped my fellow directors would join me on this adventure. We take this stewardship very seriously and hope to offer a true community for anyone who loves the movies.”

A mainstay for L.A. movie premieres going back to the 1940s, The Village Theater continues on as a primary venue for these events to this day, having hosted 50 in 2023. It sits just one block away from UCLA, and stands across the street from the Regency Bruin Theater, erected in 1937. Celebrating a hundred years in operation in 2031, the theater will remain open while plans for a restaurant, bar, and gallery are finalized.

In a statement on turnover in ownership at the Village, The Fabelmans helmer Spielberg shared, “I have so many vivid memories of seeing films at the Village Theater and I am excited to be part of this group that is intent on restoring Westwood to its glory years as a film-going cultural institution.”

Added Oppenheimer‘s Nolan, “Cinema has always been the place where filmmakers and movie goers meet, and I’m thrilled to be collaborating with so many of my favourite directors on a space that will show what the future of film exhibition can be.”

The Village Theater project is represented by Scott Gordon, project developer and head of investments at Blatteis & Schnur.

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