Sony Pictures Entertainment is renaming of one of the largest theaters on its Culver City lot to honor Academy and Emmy Award-nominated director, screenwriter and producer John Singleton, who passed away in April. Singleton has had a career that has spanned over two decades and made history when, at age 24, he became the youngest person and the first African-American to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, an honor he received for his work on his 1991 debut feature, Boyz N the Hood, a film he made for Sony Pictures’ Columbia Pictures label. Singleton’s next two films, “Poetic Justice” and “Higher Learning,” were also for Columbia, as was 2001’s “Baby Boy.” His prolific filmography also includes the films Rosewood, “Shaft,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Four Brothers,” and “Abduction.”
Singleton also received an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Director for a limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special for “American Crime Story” (Episode: The Race Card) in 2016.
“As the first African American filmmaker to earn an Academy Award® nomination for Best Director, John broke a major barrier in our industry and inspired a generation,” said Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony Picture’s Motion Picture Group. “His vision and skill enriched the world with great film and television content and he leaves a tremendous legacy, especially here at Columbia Pictures. We are honored to memorialize him in this way and look forward to dedicating the new theater with his friends and family later this summer.”
“We are so pleased that Sony Pictures will be honoring our father in this way,” said Justice and Maasai Singleton. “It is such a fitting tribute given the special place that Columbia Pictures was for him at the beginning of his career. The studio system was incredibly supportive of him in his work, which is something he deeply appreciated. This is especially touching for us. As children we were often brought to the lot while our father worked. Those days were fun and educational, and laid the groundwork for our own careers today.”
Formerly the Backstage Theater, the newly renamed John Singleton Theater is the studio’s primary employee and public screening theater on the Culver City lot. The 102-seat theater – one of the studio’s largest – is in the heart of the lot and is used by filmmakers to screen their work in post-production and is the main theater used for employee screenings and special public and VIP screenings. With 5.1 sound and a Christie CP4220 4K projector, the theater is equipped with advanced technology and can screen in all playback formats including Digital Cinema Packages, Real-D 3D, 35 mm and 70 mm film, visual FX (DPX) files, Avid Media files, among others.
By Samantha Ofole-Prince