In the new Indie Inspiration post, Quentin Tarantino: For the Love of Film, Ardent Pictures looks at Tarantino and the New Beverly, and suggests a listen to his great chat with Elvis Mitchell on KCRW’s The Treatment.
While we are not immune to the pleasures of being able to fire up a movie on blu-ray on a good HD monitor at home or on the road, sitting in the dark with an audience at a rep cinema – especially while viewing a rare or restored print – is just pure pleasure.
For some of us, it feels holy, like being in a house of worship, but with Jujubes or salty-as-hell popcorn. It’s just got to be said: nothing is as beautiful as light passing through celluloid.
On KCRW’s The Treatment, Tarantino shares his unusual decision to toss digital projection aside and devote the New Beverly rep theater in LA solely to film prints.
He staunchly defends 35mm projection as well as shooting in 35mm.
We get you, man. Pass the Twizzlers.
In August, Tarantino told LA Weekly: “I want the New Beverly to be a bastion for 35 millimeter films. I want it to stand for something. When you see a film on the New Beverly calendar, you don’t have to ask whether it’s going to be shown in DCP (Digital Cinema Projection) or in 35 millimeter. You know it’s playing in 35 because it’s the New Beverly.”
As a cinema, the New Beverly has had a fun 85 years:
In its original life it is thought the cinema was a candy factory, then later a Yiddish Theater. In 1958, a low-budget film producer obtained it and divided the space into two luxurious, intimate theaters (100 and 200 seats) modeled on studio screening rooms. The ‘Riviera-Capri’ began a schedule of classic, foreign and art house movies, though its name and the kind of films offered changed over time.
On August 9, 1969, an “Educational Documentary” called Man and Wife premiered. Admission was only to adults over 21 who also presented their marriage certificate. ‘Experimental adult films’ out of San Francisco were the main event for awhile; adult films started at 10 am daily at the newly renamed ‘Eros’ theater.
By 1972, X-Rated films continued at what by then is called the ‘Beverly’. Free candy, popcorn, and soft drinks are offered for a screening of Sex and the Working Girl.
Then in August 1977, Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler took a million dollar profit loss, and banned all ads for ‘adult cinema’ in the newspaper.
Having lost customers without advertising, in 1978, Ziehm leased the theater to Sherman Torgan and partners, who took it over as the ‘New Beverly’.
The first double feature was A Streetcar Named Desire and Last Tango in Paris.
In 2007, Sherman Torgan passed away and his son Michael took over.
In 2010, shortly after purchasing the property, Tarantino told the Hollywood Reporter “As long as I’m alive, and as long as I’m rich, the New Beverly will be there, showing double features in 35mm.”
Last month, Tarantino actually took over operations at the New Beverly, and you can hear him discuss that, 70mm, and upcoming projects, in conversation with
Elvis Mitchell on KCRW’s The Treatment.
So do yourself a favor, and treat yourself to movies at your local rep cinema, or if you don’t have one, be sure to visit if you happen to be passing through a town that does…
Listen to Tarantino chat to Elvis Mitchell below:
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