Building a new legacy while honoring the past.
On a warm and lively Saturday in Leimert Plaza Park, Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, in partnership with the Leimert Park Merchants Association, Empowerment Congress, and Warner Bros. hosted a special complimentary screening of the Lebron James’ summer blockbuster, Space Jam 2. Nearly 200 community members from all across the Tenth District enjoyed tacos from local favorite Taco Mel, popcorn and candy, and an assorted mélange of ice cream from Leimert Park’s, All Chill Ice Cream.
“We were thrilled to host this wonderful and much-needed event for the community, and grateful to all of the partners for helping to facilitate this screening,” said Councilmember Ridley-Thomas. “We know that Leimert Park is the cultural center of South Los Angeles, and we know that when we renew community assets such as Leimert Plaza Park, we’re making an investment that will have an exponential impact for many to enjoy.”
Since the re-opening of Leimert Park Plaza, this long dormant community asset has been transformed into a burgeoning cultural oasis. During its years plus hiatus, it fell into significant disrepair and attracted a significant number of homeless encampments. Now, it is one part of a larger vision by Councilmember Ridley-Thomas for Leimert Park Village that includes investing in local culture and commerce, rejuvenating the streetscape, and addressing the moral crisis of homelessness that continues to challenge all corners of the city of Los Angeles.
“Elected officials, local community groups, and corporate partners pulling together to make this screening happen represents a unique opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate and enjoy this special movie amid the legacy of a community asset,” said Cassandra Chase, Community Engagement Coordinator of the Empowerment Congress. "It’s also an opportunity to showcase the power of representation and that it matters to see people who look like the community on the silver screen in the comfort of our own park."
“Events like this are important for the community especially now because we have not had the opportunity to get together and to see our neighbors to feel part of the community,” said Genelle Brooks-Petty, Co-owner of All Chill Ice Cream. “This park has been closed for a while, but there are a lot of new people who work in the neighborhood, in the business community and this is an opportunity for us to see each other, to get to know each other, to do something family oriented and fun — at a time where we need it.”