Electric Shadow

Out of Print

Below is the trailer for Julia Marchese's documentary Out of Print, which looks at the vital role of repertory cinema and her beloved employer, the New Beverly Cinema.

I've seen the finished film, and like it a lot. Despite various controversies that have been invented out of the internet having nothing but gossip and speculation to go from, the change in ownership to Quentin Tarantino, until now only the landlord, is something I look forward to very much. The moment I heard that a digital projector had been put into the previously film-only venue, I got very worried indeed.

I'm conflicted about the expected departure of Michael Torgan, the son of Sherman Torgan. I've never met Michael and never did meet Sherman. I know them by the reputation of the rep cinema their family ran from the late 70's until Tarantino's taking it over this year. The legacy they built is the reason why I made absolutely sure that I'd get to see a double feature at the New Beverly on my first trip to Los Angeles a few years ago.

If Michael not calling the shots means a theoretically substantial and long-long-term bankroll can keep the place open? That's one thing. To do so without having to go "commercial" and let the devil that is DCP take over another 35mm holdout...well, that's another entirely. I guess I'd take that long-term security for the New Bev, but I cannot possibly fathom Tarantino not genuinely wanting Michael Torgan involved going forward in some capacity. The Torgan family is the heart of what the hardcore New Bev audience have loved about it for decades, and I'm again assuming but rather sure Tarantino feels the same way.

In the interest of complete disclosure, I've spoken with Julia recently but only about Out of Print. I'm flying blind on a second-party remove as much as everyone casting aspersions in either direction, or claiming to know all beyond doubt.

I've spoken with or sent internet telegrams to various people I think know a version of what's really going down. I know for a fact that the digital projector is out of there. I am very glad this is the case. I feel for folks who spiritually want their features to screen at the New Bev, but are shooting all-digital. I get that they want their movie to show at their favorite church. I don't think that's as important as building up the New Bev as a stronghold for 35mm. 

Change is hard, and this situation especially seems beyond delicate. I want to believe everyone involved can get past ego, entitlement, "being right" or whatever.