Ezat Delijani, a 1979 refugee from Iran’s Islamic Revolution who became a prominent Los Angeles businessman, died Aug. 27 at 83.
Delijani, whose family business in Iran imported textiles from Japan, became a real estate developer who focused on downtown Los Angeles and built up jewelry and garment districts after fleeing Tehran. His success led then-Mayor Tom Bradley to convince Delijani in 1982 to purchase and lead the renovation of classic movie palaces from the early days of Hollywood, just three years after he relocated to Los Angeles.
Delijani’s son, Shahram, said the theaters were his father’s gift to Los Angeles and a way to thank the region for taking in his family. In response, Los Angeles in 2009 named the downtown intersection of Seventh Street and Broadway as Ezat Delijani Square.
The family’s purchases and restoration of four one-time movie palaces was described in detail in a Los Angeles business news journal in 2007.
Delijani also helped establish and build up the significant Iranian Jewish community in Los Angeles, most of which arrived in the city after the Khomeini revolution.
He set up retail shops for immigrant Iranian Jews in the garment district, helped establish L.A.’s Iranian American Jewish Federation, and negotiated its purchase of a historic synagogue, Hollywood Temple Beth El, in 1998. He received a Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award in 2004.
A Tehran native, Delijani graduated from the Tehran University School of Law.
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