The New Beverly Cinema, a legendary Los Angeles theater screening classic and hard-to-find films, has just been saved by Quentin Tarantino, hereby ending his 15-year-streak of disappointing film fans.
Built in 1929 as a first-run moviehouse, the Torgan family moved into the property and turned it into a 200-seat venue for classic, independent and foreign films. One glance at a recent New Beverly schedule leaves no doubt about what attracted Tarantino to the place — John Wayne’s “True Grit” one night, Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist” later that week. The “New Bev” hosts animation events, celebrity-programmed fests and a bimonthly, exploitation-fueled Grindhouse.
The theater on Beverly a block west of La Brea hit hard times in the mid-2000s as the DVD market chewed into ticket sales. Sherman Torgan, the family patriarch and the operator of the theater, was facing serious financial troubles.
“Since I’m a print collector and I screen movies at my home, I heard from other collectors and projectionists that Sherman might have to close down,” Tarantino recalled. The director got in touch and asked Torgan how much money he needed a month to keep up the theater.
“The answer was about $5,000,” Tarantino said. “So, I just started paying him that per month. I considered it a contribution to cinema.”
First one you’ve made since Pulp Fiction! I tease. I tease because I love. Specifically, I love everything up to BUT NOT including Jackie Browne.