New Beverly Cinema
Kill Bill at the New Beverly.
|Address||7165 Beverly Blvd|
|Location||Los Angeles, California, United States|
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 300-seat New Beverly Cinema was designed by architects John P. Edwards and Warren Frazier Overpeck and opened in 1929, apparently, as a candy store. Over the years its name and purpose changed quite a lot.
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 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.
1978 Sherman Torgan ownership
The theater was closed in September 1977, and changed management months later. On May 5, 1978, The New 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.
Sherman Torgan did all of the programming for the theater throughout these years, with the assistance of his son Michael.
Quentin Tarantino ownership
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 would allow the Torgan family to continue operating the theater, while 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."
From December 2007 until September 2014, The New Beverly was managed full-time by Michael Torgan, Sherman's son. Michael renovated the theater by replacing all the seats
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.
In September 2014, seven years after acquiring the theater, Quentin Tarantino took over the programming duties. The cinema will continue showing double features exclusively in 35mm (or 16mm, depending on print availability). Some films will be screened from Tarantino's private collection. In October, Tarantino's new programming began with a double feature of Paul Mazursky films, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) and Blume in Love (1973). Midnight screenings are programmed on Friday and Saturday. Kiddee Matinees take place on weekend afternoons, and admission includes a small popcorn.
Features are usually preceded by a curated collection of vintage cartoons, shorts, and trailers.
In popular culture
- In the 1996 comedy film Swingers, as Trent implores Mike to head out with him to Vegas, a screening schedule for the New Beverly appears prominently on the side of Mike's refrigerator.
- Los Angeles Times November 27, 1963.
- Sakamoto, Ed (May 5, 1978). "Theater Returns to Respectability". Los Angeles Times. p. H18.
- Rourke, Mary (July 21, 2007). "Sherman Torgan, 63; turned an L.A. adult movie house into a haven for classic and indie films". Los Angeles Times. p. B10. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Lewinski, John Scott (February 18, 2010). "Quentin Tarantino saves L.A. theater". Reuters. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- Yamato, Jen (September 7, 2014). "Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Promises Double Features, Vintage Trailers, Tarantino Films & NO Digital. Ever.". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 7, 2014.