Actually I believe they were both LA gangs who expanded their turf.
Here’s a not too old article
For my family, the beginning of the end, in some ways, was Empress Pavilion. IIRC, the place was stunning when opened (did it occupy multiple floors) and was a bit surprise b/c I think the area was already on the decline. But it was super crowded initially. I think the crowds thinned out surprisingly quickly. But I was very young at the time, so…
In hindsight Empress opening in 1989 was not a good move but who knew at the time? ABC was at the top of its game in Chinatown but they opened NBC around 1986 and the Monterey Park branch of Harbor Village came online in 1988 and the rest is history. I think there was some government redevelopment money in constructing the complex that housed Empress so I don’t know if that skewed the appropriateness of that development.
Most definitely the banquet business kept them going. But with Ocean Star opening up in Monterey Park 1992 and other facilities following, the banquet business along with most of Chinese dining headed east. Subsequent change of management which didn’t have the same community contacts nor management skills didn’t help Empress either.