Ezat Delijani (above) and Delijani and family (below) at 7th and Broadway during dedication of Delijani Square. Photo: Ed Fuentes
Councilmember José Huizar just tweeted (Sunday evening) that Mr. Ezat Delijani, leader of the Jewish Persian community, philanthropist, and a man who has saved Broadway's historic theaters, passed away Saturday. "A dear friend."
In 1979, Delijani fled Iran’s Islamic Revolution and arrived in Los Angeles, where he quickly became a real estate magnate, notably in the fashion and textile district.
In 1982, then-Mayor Tom Bradley asked Delijani to buy the Los Angeles Theatre, one of the historic but timeworn movie palaces that lined Broadway. The theater was scheduled to be demolished.
Delijani went on to buy three more Broadway theaters,the Palace, State and Tower theaters. Several years ago, he began working with Huizar and business leaders on a campaign to revitalize the Broadway corridor. In June, the Palace Theatre reopened with a showing of “Sunset Boulevard” after a $1-million restoration.
Delijani’s son, Shahram Delijani, once described the theaters as his father’s gift to Los Angeles – a way to thank the region for taking in the family.
The intersection of 7th Street and Broadway was formally dedicated as Ezat Delijani square in 2009.