For the first time, Los Angeles has dedicated a street to an Iranian-American. A stretch of historic Broadway theater district near downtown L.A. is named after Ezat Delijani, the man who owns and is restoring several movie palaces.
KPCC’s Shirley Jahad has the story:
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: Salam and good afternoon to everybody … “
Shirley Jahad: L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other city officials came to 7th and Broadway to make the dedication. The mayor started by calling for a moment of silence for the people of Iran.
Villaraigosa: Half a world away there are freedom fighters speaking out and standing up for the rule of law, some of whom have died for their conviction. Lets take a moment of silence to acknowledge them and to speak out for freedom in Iran.
Jahad: Then the mayor started telling stories of coming to the historic theaters on Broadway when he was a kid on special occasions.
Villaraigosa: And you’d walk in and you’d see the majesty of the foyer, and you’d have to almost pinch your cheek and say "wow!" because it's so beautiful.
Jahad: The theaters went through decades of decay, along with much of downtown L.A. It was another mayor, Tom Bradley nearly three decades ago, who asked Delijani to buy and preserve the regal Los Angeles Theater. Delijani had made his money in the garment and jewelry districts downtown and since bought several other movie palaces in the district for preservation.
Villaraigosa: Because we are living in a great city and a great country, we can enjoy success and prosperity and also be awarded for our services.
Jahad: Delijani says tourists from around the world come to Los Angeles and they want to see the historic places, like the ornate movie palaces along broadway.