New Beverly Cinema
The New Beverly Cinema is a historic movie theater located in Los Angeles, California, United States. Housed in a building which dates to the 1920s, it is one of the oldest revival houses in the region.
The building began life as a vaudeville theater, hosting acts such as Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Jackie Gleason, Phil Silvers, and others. Later, the theater was converted into a nightclub called Slapsy Maxie's, named after the boxer and silent film actor Maxie Rosenbloom. In the late 1950s, the space was converted into a movie theater, with several incarnations. These include: The New Yorker Theater, the Europa (specializing in foreign films), the Eros (pornographic films) and finally the Beverly Cinema, a grindhouse which incorporated live nude dancing.
The theater was closed in September 1977, and changed management months later. On May 5, 1978, The Beverly Cinema debuted a new programming format with a double feature of A Streetcar Named Desire and Last Tango in Paris. This double feature format continues to this day. The theater's then new owner, Sherman Torgan, noted, "I've always felt that this neighborhood, which is middle class and predominantly Jewish, should have a theater that is responsive to the community. It wasn't right that a porno theater was here. People in the area have come by and written letters offering congratulations on the changeover." Since that time, the theater has run a continuous series of double features, comprising modern and classic films in a wide variety of genres. It is the last continuous repertory revival house in Los Angeles. Most other American cities and towns closed their last repertory cinemas in the 1980s and 1990s.
The New Beverly Cinema is located at 7165 West Beverly Boulevard, in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. All programs are double features, and until 2012 the box office only accepted cash.
In December 2007, to save the property from redevelopment, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino bought the building that houses the New Beverly Cinema, effectively making him the theater's landlord. The Hollywood Reporter reported that Tarantino will allow the Torgan family to continue operating the theater, but he will be making programming suggestions from time to time. Tarantino was quoted as saying "As long as I'm alive, and as long as I'm rich, the New Beverly will be there, showing double features in 35mm."
The theater's usual double-feature programming was suspended in December 2012 for an extended run of Tarantino's own Django Unchained, projected in 35mm.
- Los Angeles Times November 27, 1963.
- Sakamoto, Ed (1978-05-05). "Theater Returns to Respectability". Los Angeles Times. p. IV-18.
- Rourke, Mary (2007-07-21). "Sherman Torgan, 63; turned an L.A. adult movie house into a haven for classic and indie films". Los Angeles Times.
- Lewinski, John Scott. "Quentin Tarantino saves L.A. theater", The Hollywood Reporter, 18 February 2010. Retrieved on 16 December 2012.
- New Beverly Cinema Home Page
- MySpace page
- Los Angeles Times: Sherman Torgan obituary
- The Hollywood Reporter: "New Beverly Founder Dies"