“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.”
Its renaming serves as a celebration of Singleton’s historical career which began at Sony. At age 24, the director became the youngest person and first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for best director for his 1991 debut “Boyz N the Hood” which was made for Sony Pictures’ Columbia Pictures label. He went on to create two more films for Sony, “Poetic Justice” and “Higher Learning” and continued his career with films such as “Fast 2 Furious,” “Abduction,” “Shaft,” and “Rosewood.”
“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.”
Formerly named the Backstage Theater, the space is the primary employee and public screening theater on the studio’s lot in Culver City. Seating 102 people, it’s also the largest theater on the lot and is often used by filmmakers to view their work during post-production and VIP screenings.