The New Beverly Cinema has been a part of my life since I moved to Los Angeles, though I wasn’t a constant presence there. While I loved a lot of their midnight programming (especially Brian Collins’ HMAD series) I just don’t have the constitution to go to midnight movies all that much. Similarly, it’s geographically difficult for me to get there on occasion. But it’s always been there and I’ve never had less than a great time going, plus prices were ultra-reasonable and all of the films were shown on 35MM (until recently). But the theater is about to change faces, and it remains to be seen if the change will be for the better.
Michael Torgan has been running the New Beverly since 2007 when his father, Sherman Torgan, died. Sherman had actually been running the theater since 1978, marking over three decades of the New Beverly being a family-run business. Quentin Tarantino, who had been helping the Torgans with their business finances for some years, stepped in at that moment to buy the property in order to protect it. As the landlord of the New Beverly Cinema, Tarantino had let Michael Torgan essentially do his thing, until he bought a digital projector to be able to show more current releases. The theater was never going to abandon 35MM film, but Tarantino decided that he didn’t want to mix exhibition formats. As a result, Michael Torgan no longer programs for the theater and the venue will be closed for a month. When it reopens, Tarantino will have gotten rid of the digital projector and will be the primary programmer. Hit the jump for more.