I am being unfairly forced to quit the New Beverly Cinema. http://t.co/AJdJYOVgfd
— julia marchese (@juliacmarchese) October 15, 2014
Julia Marchese has been a fixture at The New Beverly Cinema for years. She’s someone I’ve encountered many times and I’ve always considered her an extension of the theater itself. In much the same way you can reasonably expect to see Clu Gulager sitting in his favorite front-row seat on any given night—for any given film—she’s pretty much always there. Hell, her Twitter handle
is used to be @NewBeverlyJulia.
No more. This morning, my Facebook feed was inundated with people sharing a post from her WordPress account, announcing her parting of ways with The New Beverly over its recent managerial overhaul. In it, she details her relationship with the theater’s original owner (Sherman Torgan), Quentin Tarantino’s involvement (and eventual purchase of the theater) and the new corporate structure that forced her out.
It’s important to note that Marchese doesn’t blame Tarantino directly, but suggests the people working for him (specifically, General Manager Julie McClean) are mismanaging the theater, killing the spirit of the thing in the process. Here’s an excerpt from Julia’s blog:
This past Monday morning I was called to a last minute meeting by Julie McLean – the new general manager of the Bev – who informed me that, although I had only started my new position less than two weeks before, she had come to the conclusion that I was not manager material.
Effective immediately, I was to be demoted to snack bar, with no shifts guaranteed. In layman’s terms: I won’t fire you, because then I would have to pay unemployment, but I simply won’t schedule you – which forces resignation.
She assured me that any argument was useless. No, I was not allowed to state my side of the case, nor could I talk to Quentin. She had already assured him that this was the best move for the theater, and he had given his consent to allow her ultimate power in all decisions regarding the theater.
She wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say, and found all of my arguments “bordering on insubordination”.
My last gasp was pleading with her – couldn’t she see that there was a feeling, a soul to this place that she was only going to crush? Couldn’t she see that?
She told me I was making it about myself, like I made everything about myself.
My last words to her were:
“You’re going to turn this place into a fucking multiplex, and it’s a goddam drag.”
I think Quentin Tarantino is an incredibly talented filmmaker with his heart in the right place. He’s been my personal hero for several years – here’s a man who uses his celebrity in the best possible way – to insure 35mm will be around and to save a theater that both of us see as something extraordinary.
However, I think he has people working for him that aren’t serving his best interests.
He needs to wake up and see that these people are killing the very thing he is trying to keep alive.
For my dedication to the New Beverly, I am rewarded with no job, $47 in my bank account and a finished documentary film about a place that no longer exists.
Out of Print is a film I made about how important 35mm exhibition is and how special revival cinemas are – I illustrate this case with showing you ONE special cinema – The Bev.
I have been struggling to make this film since 2012, and am proud to say it is finally finished.
I was planning a big premiere at the New Beverly in January – on a 35mm print.
Obviously, that isn’t going to happen.
That’s why I have decided to let you all watch the documentary I made about the New Beverly Cinema – Out of Print – now.
I hope you will see first hand the enthusiasm I had for that place, and the passion I will always have for cinema. No matter what you think of the film, you can’t deny that my love for The New Beverly Cinema shines through.
And I hope it will encourage you to support that struggling mom and pop theater near you.
Embrace it while you can.
It may not always be there.
As for me, I have no idea what the future holds.
All I know is that I refuse to be censored anymore.
So yes, you can watch Out Of Print, a documentary about The New Bev—a film I’ve been anticipating—and you can watch it for free, but under pretty awful circumstances.