Vista Theater

The historic Vista Theater in Los Feliz is a cultural landmark and artifact of life in Los Angeles. Located at 4473 Sunset Drive, this antique movie theater features a 50-foot movie screen, vintage architecture, and cement handprints from famous actors, actresses, and directors.

Spend a night out and go see a movie or the occasional concert at the Vista. It’s also available for special events, birthdays, and weddings. Many filmmakers have used the Vista as a shooting location and have premiered their films on its screen.

Vista 1

Photo Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Vista_Theater%2C_Los_Angeles.jpg

This famous silver screen was opened in October of 1923, which means that it is almost one-hundred-years-old. Back in the roaring twenties, the theater went by the name Lou Bard Playhouse and it hosted vaudeville shows before it screened the film Tips, starring actress Baby Peggy.

Today, the Vista Theater projects films on both a Sony Digital projector as well as a 35 mm film projector. For example, Interstellar (directed by Christopher Nolan) was screened on 35 mm film at the Vista a week before its national premiere. Contemporary films are screened on a regular basis at the Visa now. The Secret Movie Club Film Festival of 2017 features movies screened every weekend of the month of August. It’s not every day you get the opportunity to see classics (like Freaks, Blue Velvet, Dr. Strangelove, and Roadhouse) on the big screen. Find out more here.

The Egyptian aesthetic in the building’s décor was popular in America in the twenties, and this historic building was designed by Lewis A. Smith. Think of Intolerance (1916) by D.W. Griffith. Ronald Wright later added etchings of hieroglyphics to the design. The original layout of the theater space contained 838 seats, but half of the seating was removed later to increase legroom for audience members. Now the Vista is known for “the most legroom in Hollywood.”

Vista 2

Photo Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTkVwEs0Zxo&feature=youtu.be

Check out this YouTube video by American Public Media to learn more. Thomas Theaters renovated the Vista Theater during the eighties, and it is currently owned by Lance Alspaugh.

You may have been to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, but don’t forget to visit the forecourt at the Vista Theater, where you’ll see the cement handprints of famous Hollywood actors and directors. Are you a Spike Jonze fan? Love laughing at John C. Reily? Or are you more into John Landis films? See the mark left by the cast and crew of famous pictures like Ed Wood, Swingers, Show Girls, Poltergeist, and more. Baby Peggy herself was featured in a handprint ceremony at the Vista when she was 91-years-old to celebrate the theater’s history. Other celebrated artists include Tenacious D, Ray Harryhausen, Forrest J. Ackerman, Penelope Spheeris, Vilmos Zsigmond, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and more.

About Los Feliz:

Los Feliz is a neighborhood in central Los Angeles known for its history as a California land grant and as the home of various Hollywood celebrities. Los Feliz was the neighborhood where Walt Disney first drew Mickey Mouse in his uncle’s garage, and it was home to his first animation studio. Today, Los Feliz covers two-and-a-half acres of land and is home to approximately 35,500 citizens. The borders of Los Feliz touch the Santa Monica Mountains, Hollywood, Griffith Park, Atwater Village, Silver Lake, the Los Angeles River, and the Hollywood Hills.

The Rancho Los Feliz land grant was a parcel of land covering six-and-a-half acres. It was granted to Corporal Jose Vicente Feliz (the neighborhood’s namesake). In Griffith Park, you’ll see the adobe home his children built, which still exists. Now, the same land is what we know as Los Feliz and Silver Lake.

Vista 3

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sergesegal/9082603467

Visit Los Feliz Village for excellent shopping, dining, nightlife, and vintage stores. Drive by Laughlin Park, Los Feliz Estates, Los Feliz Hills, Franklin Hills, Los Feliz Square, and Los Feliz Knolls to get to know the neighborhood better. Celebrities like Adam Levine, James Cameron, Jenji Kohan, Geena Davis, Lily Tomlin, Val Kilmer, Beck, Spike Jonze, Katherine Heigl, Brad Pitt and more have lived in Los Feliz.

Other historic sites to visit in Los Feliz include:

-The Franklin Avenue Bridge (“The Shakespeare Bridge”)

-The Ennis House, the Sowden House, and the Hollyhock House, designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright

-The Los Feliz Heights Steps

-The Lovell Health House, designed by Richard Neutra

-The First Walt Disney Animation Studio and the Animation School for the Walt Disney Studios

-The original Feliz Adobe in Griffith Park

Enjoy your time in Los Feliz and the great city of Los Angeles.

Real Estate Unlimited is a real estate agency with over thirty years of experience with luxury real estate in the city of Los Angeles. Since 1980, we have been assisting clients with buying, selling, and researching homes. Do you have questions about Los Feliz real estate? Feel free to contact us today.

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