Sony Renames Movie Theater After John Singleton

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The former Backstage Theater, the 102-seat primary theater on the studio's Culver City lot, had been renamed the John Singleton Theater.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, which released John Singleton's breakthrough first film, is honoring the late filmmaker by renaming a movie theater after him.

On Friday SPE announced that the former Backstage Theater, the 102-seat primary theater on the studio's Culver City lot, had been renamed the John Singleton Theater. The theater hosts employee screenings, private and VIP screenings and showings for filmmakers looking to watch their films in theater during post-production.

“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,” Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Picture’s Motion Picture Group, said in a statement. “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.”

Sony, under its Columbia Pictures label, released Singleton's acclaimed first feature Boyz N the Hood, which earned him the first-ever best director Oscar nomination for an African American and made him the youngest person ever nominated in the category. Columbia Pictures went on to release Singleton's film Poetic Justice (1993), Higher Learning (1995) and Baby Boy (2001).

“We are so pleased that Sony Pictures will be honoring our father in this way,” two of Singleton's children, Justice and Maasai, said in a statement. “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.”

Singleton died on April 29 at 51 years old after suffering a stroke and that left him on life support. At the time, Singleton was the executive producer of the FX TV show Snowfall, which he co-created with Eric Amadio and Dave Andron. At the time of his death, the third season was set to begin in September.

A private funeral was held in early May. Later that month, Singleton's alma mater, USC, hosted a memorial service.