Sony Pictures said Friday that is renaming on of the biggest theaters on its Culver City lot after John Singleton. The director-writer-producer, who died in April at age 51 after suffering a stroke, made his feature debut with Sony and Columbia Pictures’ Boyz N the Hood, which led to him becoming the youngest person and first African American to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Director.
Formerly the Backstage Theater, the newly renamed John Singleton Theater is the studio’s primary employee and public screening theater on the lot. The 102-seat venue is used by filmmakers to screen their work in post-production and is the main theater for employee screenings and special public and VIP screenings.
The dedication will take place later this summer.
After making Boyz N the Hood in 1991 at age 24, Singleton’s next two films, Poetic Justice and Higher Learning, were also made at Columbia, as was 2001’s Baby Boy.
“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 Pictures 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.”
Said Singleton’s children Justice and Maasai: “We are so pleased that Sony Pictures will be honoring our father in this way. 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.”