Established in 1926, the property originally opened as a vaudeville theatre under the name of 'The Alpine Theatre.'
Renamed 'The Carmen Theatre', the film house began screening Spanish-language films, adapting to the changing demographics of the location's surrounding community.
In 1943, servicemen and civilians were involved in a series of attacks against minority youths for wearing heavy 'zoot suits,' during wartime, when fabric was rationed. The Carmen Theatre is rumored to have been the starting location of these infamous zoot suit riots, and listed in the Los Angeles Historical Library as such.
In the late 1960's, the theatre officially dawned its new name: The Kim Sing Theatre. The historic building was also transitioned to a single screen movie theatre - a place where many locals have fond memories of catching popular kung-fu movie showings. Snacks at the theatre in that day featured salted shredded red ginger strips, salted dried plums, or maybe some M&M’s (no popcorn here)!
In 1999, Willard Ford, son of Harrison Ford, saw the promise within Kim Sing’s then-unused theatre and redefined the potential use of the space. Keeping the historic presence of the bow truss ceilings and the original marquee sign, Ford transformed the theatre to include an internal courtyard, an audio-visual room, a large kitchen and retail space.
In the 16 years that Ford occupied the historic Kim Sing Theatre, the space recieved more than a design overhall- it was also the birthplace of Ford's company. Flagship is a multi-interest fashion, design, marketing, public relations, wholesale representation, and brand development company. It’s a brand new combination of Willard’s previous interests, and the Kim Sing Theatre was the perfect historic and inspiring hybrid for it.
Now, the Kim Sing Theatre is re-opened to the public for the first time in over 20 years. KST offers a unique space, carefully tended to and treasured by its proprietors. Here, an experience of secret space and timeless design unfolds. Presented to you for the first time in a long time.