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The New Beverly Cinema is Becoming Quentin Tarantino's Public 35mm Screening Room

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After a digital screening Sunday of Funny Girl, the beloved New Beverly Cinema in Fairfax closed for a month without much of an explanation. According to the blog Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, it was the last showing overseen by manager/programmer Michael Torgan, who literally grew up at the second-run theater (he took over operations in 2007 after the death of his father, who'd been in charge since 1978; the family leased the theater). In 2010, after years of helping out with the bills, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino bought the New Bev's building—which was the original home of the infamous Slapsy Maxie's nightclub in the late 1930s—and declared "As long as I'm alive, and as long as I'm rich, the New Beverly will be there, showing double features in 35mm." Now LA Weekly reports he's taken over as the theater's operator in order to keep the last part of that promise. (And it seemed like just space-filling nonsense in June when blogs acted all scandalized that Torgan had bought a digital projection system shortly before Tarantino made some emphatically pro-film remarks in public.) In an interview with LAW, Tarantino says he hopes Torgan will still be involved in the theater in some way, but that "after seven years as owner, I wanted to make it mine." (He'll program for three months and then let "other people working in the theater" make up the schedules.) He'll keep the double-feature format and the weekend midnight movie, but he implies that all of the films will be screened on film—that's a major feat since a lot of studios don't even make film prints anymore, but Tarantino's been collecting his own for about 20 years: he says "the base of what we're doing will be my print collection." He'll also be adding a six-track stereo sound system, plus a 16mm projector ("because I have a big 16 collection, too"). Friday's midnight movies will all be Tarantino films.
· DARK SEPTEMBER, or Bright Reflections from the Past Courtesy of the New Beverly Cinema [SLatIFR]
· Quentin Tarantino on the New Beverly: "After 7 Years as Owner, I Wanted to Make It Mine." [LAW]
· Rich, Living Quentin Tarantino Buys the New Beverly Theater [Curbed LA]