Located across the street from the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum in the East Village neighborhood of Long Beach, the Museum of Latin American Art is the only museum in the United States dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art. It was founded in 1996 and has since then doubled its size, adding a sculpture garden and more space for its permanent collection, which features works of ranging from Tamayo and Matta to Cruz-Diez, Los Carpinteros and Tunga.
The museum is housed in a few buildings used for other purposes. One of these was the Balboa Amusement Producing Company, which was at the time the world’s foremost silent film studio. Each week between 1913 and 1918, the company produced up to 20,000 feet of negative film.Part of the old film studio is likely what was renovated into the museum's entertainment, education, and special event venue.
The museum's exhibition galleries, administrative offices and store are located in a former roller skating rink known as the Hippodrome, which was built in the late 1920s. People enjoyed the rink for several decades until it was converted into a senior health center in 1980. It served in that capacity until the museum opened in 1996