Historic Vision Theater in LA’s Leimert Park damaged by fire

Written by on April 21, 2020

Posted by Lloyd D'Truth McCloud on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Community Street Journalist Lloyd McCloud was the only video on scene as fire damaged an art deco theater under renovation in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles before dawn Tuesday, the Fire Department said.

The Vision Theatre was reported ablaze at 4:35 a.m. and more than 100 firefighters took 25 minutes to extinguish it, the department said.

The theater has been undergoing a years-long, multi-phase renovation.

The venue opened as a cinema in 1931 under the name Leimert Park Theatre.

It was purchased in 1990 by actress Marla Gibbs, who gave it the Vision name, according to the city Department of Cultural Affairs.ADVERTISEM

The city eventually took over the theater and turned it into a performing arts center.

The theater has been envisioned as part of a revived walkable area connected to a new light rail commuter line.

Community street journalist Lloyd McCloud documented the fire and posted it on social media where people were saddened, angered, and surprised all at once. Rumors were rampant that the theater had burned down but Los Angeles City Council President Emeritus Herb Wesson quelled that madness with this statement: “I was deeply upset to hear about the fire at the Vision Theatre, an incredibly important and special place in South L.A. However, I want to set the record straight,” Wesson said in an email. “The preliminary investigation has shown the fire was actually in an abandoned building next door, and we are incredibly fortunate that the theater is largely intact. While the west side of the marquee suffered some damage, it appears that there is zero damage to the roof.”

Others came out and documented the afternath so that everyone could clearly see the extent of the damage.

Vision theater still standing after this morning fire that destroyed artist Bradford's Art & Practice building next door. Fire started from a homeless camp site set up in front. They said the homeless were being housed in hotels. Well, I guess they ran out of rooms or didnt have hotel types for the homeless in this neighborhood. What you think happen & how will they prevent it from happening again? #Leimertpark #staysafe ##safeathome

Posted by Gwen Allen on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

We will keep you posted on any followup and repair work as the days go by.

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