Moviegoers welcome Rave Cinemas new multiplex at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

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Brian Watt/KPCC

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

All the big box office contenders got a boost this weekend from the opening – or re-opening - of a multiplex in South Los Angeles.

This is the first holiday weekend in more than a year that people who live near the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall could take in a movie without leaving the neighborhood.

Sharon Hodrick enjoyed the arrival of the new Rave Cinemas with two bags of free popcorn.

"I am so glad that we are open in this area because I’ve been living in this area for over 30 years," she said. "I’m sad to say I was going somewhere else."

The new operation’s in the same location Magic Johnson Theaters occupied for 15 years. It shut down last year while Rave and the mall’s new owner – Capri Capital Partners – upgraded the place. Capri President Ken Lombard remembers when he and Magic Johnson opened the first cinema.

"I feel fortunate to be able to sit here a second time and say we not only have a great theatre but we have a theatre that is bigger and better," he said.

The mall is also in the midst of a major make-over. LA city officials say that demolition and renovation of nearby Marlton Square begins later this month.

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