Former Magic Johnson theater reopens as Rave Cinemas 15 in South Los Angeles

Members of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy perform at grand opening of the Rave Cinemas at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
Members of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy perform at grand opening of the Rave Cinemas at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Brian Watt/KPCC

Nearly a year after the Magic Johnson cinemas closed, a new state-of-the-art multiplex opened in its place today at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Mall.

Rave Cinemas 15 features theaters that range in size from 100 to 365 seats, stadium seating and the latest digital and 3-D projection technologies.

Ken Lombard, Magic Johnson's business partner and president of the company that owns the mall, said new operator Rave Cinemas understands the importance of a first-class facility. The upgrade cost about $12 million.

"This community will support you in a big way but you gotta give them the best. It’s a sophisticated customer base, and they’re mobile. And there’s enough there that they’ll get in their cars and drive somewhere else if you don’t give it to them," Lombard said at the grand opening on Wednesday.

The multiplex is a major component of a $30 million transformation at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The mall's owner, Capri Capital Partners, partnered with Rave Cinemas to open the facility. Lombard said the project was responsible for 800 jobs. The theater will employ about 80 people.

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