Ava Duvernay Opens Movie Theater In Los Angeles To Help Women Of Color Showcase Their Projects
Ava Duvernay’s innovation never ceases to amaze. The film director, who has been the brains behind iconic projects like Queen Sugar and When They See Us, has opened a brand new movie theater in L.A.’s Historic Filipinotown.
And in true Duvernay form, of course it’s not the typical movie theater. It features bright turquoise seats, and Duvernay said she wouldn’t have it any either way.
“You walk in and the color hits you. We wanted to be a little rebellious. Look, we’re black ladies. This is our screening room. We want hot pink chairs? We’re going to have them.”
Named after her late aunt, Denise Amanda Sexton, Duvernay’s Array company opened The Amanda Theater in June. It’s set for launch via the Array 360 screening series, which will show films like Boyz n the Hood.
The theater is the latest of Array’s property that sits on 14,000 square feet and consists of three buildings on Glendale Blvd. between Echo Park and downtown L.A. The theater itself is 7,500 square feet.
It will also be a haven for women of color to promote their own projects. Duvernay also wants to use the space as a way to fight social injustice. She tells the L.A. Times,
“The idea was to be disruptive in every system within which artists, especially artists of color and women, have to work in this industry. Every system has roadblocks for people like us, whether it is in acquisition, production, distribution, exhibition, marketing, crewing up. So what we were looking to do was disrupt those systems so that we create normalcy and momentum.”
She said J.J. Abrams Bad Robot properties in Santa Monica served as inspiration.
“All his dreams happen in that space. I thought, ‘Golly, I would like to do a black woman version of this….’ We’ve been taught that the system is to take up space on a studio lot, right? That’s a part of your deal. You’re ballin’ if you’ve got an office on the lot, but you’re paying four times as much as you would if you take that money and bought something with it.”
“Array 360 is the opening of the door and the first invitation for people in the community to come in,” DuVernay said. “It is the entry for films to be shown from other community stakeholders, where you don’t have to beg, borrow, plead or have a big studio to show your work.”
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