When the beloved Magic Johnson Theater closed last year there was a palpable worry in the Crenshaw community that it wouldn't be replaced.
Many breathed a sigh of relieve when we could see demolition and construction starting in the fall. And right on schedule, and meeting all expectations, Rave Motion Pictures has opened a state of the art 3D, luxury theater – the only one for miles around.
The Magic Johnson Theaters opened 15 years ago and revitalized the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall. The Rave, which also has a location at the Howard Hughes in Westchester/Culver City, may be marking another renaissance for the Crenshaw Mall. Staples is coming, Buffalo Wilde Wings is here and lot of construction is going on right now as part of a $30 million transformation of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
The theaters range in size from 100 to 365 seats, all of which are outfitted with plush rocker seats selected for maximum comfort. New food concessions, ticket areas and the overall theater lobby are designed for the convenience of all movie-goers. The new theater also features a special events room for birthday parties, meetings and other community uses.
The theater complex itself is 67,000 square feet, and is set on a new 30,000 square foot promenade.
“We designed the new theatre and promenade to create a signature gathering area and entry point for the entire property,” Ken Lombard of Capri Urban Investors, the mall's owner, stated in a press release. “The New Rave 15 is symbolic of what we are seeking to accomplish at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Simply put, we’re raising the bar to ensure this center and this theater provide amenities, services and quality experiences consumers have come to expect at best-in-class facilities anywhere in the country.”
All guests will receive a free medium popcorn with paid admission from Tuesday evening June 28 through Thursday July 4th, said Sharron King of the Crenshaw Plaza.
Jeremy Devine, Vice President of Marketing for Rave Cinemas said the theater could broadcast live sports, concerts and even opera.
“We bring more than just movies to local residents, and we approach every site as a real community center,” he said.
Rave filled more than 80 new staff and management positions at the theater from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants who attended a multi-day job fair held at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in May.