By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

Los Angeles – People waiting to enter Leimert Park for the screening all agree that there is better way to spend a Saturday evening than gathering in the historic park, under the stars, on a cool summer night for Movie in the Park, Movie After Dark or Movie Alfresco with family, friends, and neighbors. Doesn’t get any better than this.

Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, District 10, hosted a COVID-19 friendly screening for families in Leimert Plaza, Saturday, July 31, 2021.

On the heels of re-opening of the long-shuttered Leimert Park, Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas in collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures, the Leimert Park Merchants Association and the Empowerment Congress hosted a socially distanced COVID-19 safe screening of the Lebron James blockbuster Space Jam 2.

“We are thrilled to host this wonderful and much needed event for the community, and grateful to all the partners for helping to facilitate this screening,” said Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas in a released statement.

“We know that Leimert Park is the cultural center in South Los Angeles and there is no better place to host events for the community in the newly re-opened plaza.”

If memory serves me well, this is either the first movie ever shown in Leimert Park Plaza, the first movie to be shown in a long time or the first blockbuster movie to ever be screened in Leimert Park Plaza?

Taco Mell Tacos. (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

The movie going experience was taken up a notch. Thanks to the generosity and support of Warner Brothers, Cinemark Theaters, City Department of Parks and Recreation and the Empowerment Congress. Taco Mell located a short skip and a hop from the Park Leimert Park served up a delicious plate of steak and chicken tacos and rice to the movie goers. Taco Mell, 4326 Crenshaw Boulevard. Stop by soon, you will be happy that you did.

Space Jam 2 Poster. (Photo Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)

Warner Bros. Pictures booth handed out Space Jam 2 posters and a Kit-Kat candy bar. Cinemark Theaters, located at the nearby Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza provided movie goers with bags of popcorn.

Genelle Brooks-Petty (Co-owner, All Chill) and Ghia Ali. (Photo By Ricky Richardson)

The evening would not be complete without a nice cool treat. Al Chill-A Hip-Hop Ice Cream shop served up generous cups of delightful treats- vanilla, kids party, cookies and cream and citrus basil sorbet. Luckily for the community, All Chill, with the motto “All Chill, Cream, Culture and Community is located within a short distance in Leimert Park Village, 3415 W. 43rd Place.

Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas stated to KCAL Channel 9 News, “since Leimert Park was reopened on Juneteenth, there is no looking back,” as it relates to his vision the park.

Before the screening, Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas thanked Warner Brothers, Leimert Park Merchant Association, the Empowerment Congress, Taco Mell, All Chill, Cinemark Theaters for their involvement in bringing family friendly night of entertainment to families in South Los Angeles.