Vintage Eagle Rock theater plans to reopen with fresh look and new video store

EAGLE ROCK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A neighborhood movie theater in Eagle Rock is planning to reopen after the pandemic. There's no exact date, but the vintage theater is hoping to kick-start construction soon as fundraising efforts continue.

It's been a difficult year for local movie theaters, shuttered amid the pandemic. That's why news of this new opening begs the question: why now?

"I think the question is really why not before? And definitely now," said Maggie Mackay, executive director of the Vidiots Foundation. They're embarking on the restoration and reopening of the old Eagle Theatre in Eagle Rock.

"When you really love something and it really matters to you and we really love the city of Los Angeles and Vidiots and the Eagle, and we want to make this possible and you don't give up on the things you love," Mackay said.

Along with the theater, they'll have a catalog of 50,000 Blu-rays and DVDs for rent.

"Even though we don't have as many video stores around as we used to, they still do exist," said Mackay. "And we really are invested in the culture and in making that culture thrive again."

Getting to this point wasn't easy. It required the go-ahead from the city - allowing them to proceed without costly parking and security requirements. But they've had a lot of support.

"We got letters from all over the city, but especially from northeast Los Angeles and Eagle Rock," said Mackay. "This community loves this space and we have generations of people who grew up going to this movie theater and they want it back."

Right now, due to the ongoing pandemic and continual fundraising efforts through the Vidiots Foundation website, there's no exact opening date planned. But there's hope to have movies screening there by the end of the year.

"We just can't wait to see people's faces in the flickering lights and walking into the video store and going home with things they've never seen and coming back and talking to us about them," said Mackay.
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