The Downtown Independent

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The Downtown Independent is a theater and cinema located in the Little Tokyo area of Los Angeles, California. It is operated by the Downtown Independent and owned by Orange County, California's Cinema Properties Group. Closed since the mid-1980s, the former Linda Lea Theatre was originally the Arrow Theatre and later the Aztec in the 1920s and 1930s.

In April 2007, crews began construction on the site of the former Linda Lea theater at 251 South Main Street. The Downtown Independent is an ultra-modern one-screen movie house that shows independent films and holds special events ranging in genre from musical performances to rooftop fashion shows. In March the developer, Costa Mesa-based Cinema Properties Group, demolished all but the exterior walls of the rundown 1924 theater. Hodgetts + Fung Associates designed the sleek, glass and steel cube-shaped cinema which had its grand opening gala on December 1, 2007. The venue is slightly less than 10,000 square feet (930 m2) and has stadium seating for 222, a live performance space and a gorgeous rooftop with views of Downtown Los Angeles.


The Linda Lea Theatre opened in February 1945. The first opening week featured stage acts as well as a movie showing. Sammy Yates and his Linda Lea orchestra provided the music. Stage performances included Spike and Mike, dubbed the “futuristic tapsters”; Bill Kay's Kayettes, a line of chorus dancers; Cannibal White and Co., a comedy team; among others. On the screen was “Minstrel Man” and “Brazil". The theater, with the Reverend A. A. Jenkins, held a fundraiser in March 1945 to raise money for a new church recreation/community center on First Street.


  • Owner: Cinema Properties Group
  • Tenant: The Downtown Independent
  • Capacity: 250
  • Completion: November 2007
  • First day open to public: December 2, 2007
  • Address: 251 South Main Street Los Angeles, California 90012 USA.

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Coordinates: 34°03′01″N 118°14′44″W / 34.0502°N 118.2456°W / 34.0502; -118.2456