Friday, September 5, 2014

Quentin Tarantino and the changes coming to L.A.'s New Beverly Cinema.

After years of holding the lease on the building in which Los Angeles' revival theater New Beverly CInema resides (and having some say over recent programming--including a long run of DJANGO UNCHAINED upon its original release), Quentin Tarantino has gained full control of the theater--removing Michael Torgan (son of the late Sherman Torgan, who ran the theater from the 70s until his death in 2007) from film scheduling--plus removing the digital projection system installed last spring.

Here's a link to an interview Tarantino gave to LA WEEKLY:

Michael Torgan's response from the comments section of LA WEEKLY: An important clarification to this article: like most business owners, my family did not own the physical property from which we ran our business.  We leased it since 1978, so we did not literally own the physical theater.  However, we did own the business known as the New Beverly Cinema 100%.  In addition to being the manager/chief programmer, I was also the owner of the business entirely.  This point has often been misunderstood, so I felt a need to make this statement even if I chose not to be interviewed for this piece.

Chris Willman's response to Torgan:
Does "did own" mean Tarantino has finally purchased the business from you? That doesn't seem clear. Thanks, Michael.

Article sympathetic to Michael Torgan from the website LAist:

And there's the possibility of Quentin Tarantino expanding his revival-house empire with an interest in purchasing the currently-closed Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena CA:

UPDATE: The following comments originally appeared on September 7th after a article about Tarantino and the New Beverly:
David: Kudos to Tarantino! As a former ‘real’ film studio projectionist, I lost my job due to digital conversion. There is nothing like being surrounded by film cans! For years when going to a theater to see a movie, I couldn’t help but watch for the reel change mark in the upper right corner of the screen. Now those too have disappeared. I will indeed be by to watch real movies at the Beverly Cinema.

Michael Torgan: David, just a clarification: the New Beverly Cinema may have added a digital projector to supplement its programming, but it by no means went through a digital conversion. We screened over 360 35mm film prints a year via reel to reel change-over projection, and that wasn’t going to change just because I simply added a digital projector to the booth. It’s a revival theater, after all, and 35mm would have ALWAYS remained the preferred format. I had 5 projectionists on staff, and no one was losing a job over the digital projector. We’ve been screening “real” movies at the Beverly Cinema for 36 years.

Here's the link to the article:

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