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Ex-Staffer Accuses Tarantino of Turning New Beverly Into a Multiplex

Ex-Staffer Accuses Tarantino of Turning New Beverly Into a Multiplex

The latest wrinkle in owner Quentin Tarantino’s takeover of the New Beverly Cinema is a blog post “I Will Not Be Censored” from disgruntled ex-employee Julia Marchese, who was hired at the theater in 2006. At first, Tarantino’s team offered her a much better salary to co-manage the theater after he took over operations on October 1, but she was then “frozen out” by Julie McLean, the new general manager of the Beverly, who demoted her as “not manager material,” Marchese writes. “I am done.”

There’s been some controversy about Tarantino letting go of Michael Torgan, who took over the day-to-day running of the theater when his father Sherman died in 2007, as well as Tarantino’s insistence on showing films in 35 or 16 mm only. “I want the New Beverly to be a bastion for 35 millimeter films,” he told the LA Weekly. “I want it to stand for something. When you see a film on the New Beverly calendar, you don’t have to ask whether it’s going to be shown in DCP [Digital Cinema Projection] or in 35 millimeter. You know it’s playing in 35 because it’s the New Beverly.”

It’s unclear how Tarantino will be promoting and publicizing his program beyond the website calendar. According to Marchese, she felt “muzzled” on social media and outreach. “I was not allowed to instagram, twitter, facebook, blog, or in any other way talk publicly about what was happening with the New Beverly,” she writes.

A call to the theater gets a voicemail directing anyone interested in the programming to check out the new website at newbevcinema.com

Here are some selections from Marchese’s sour grapes posting: 
It absolutely breaks my heart to say this, but the New Beverly Cinema that have I loved and stood so ardently for – and that I believe so many of you out there love and stand up for – is gone.
 
The first time I walked into the New Beverly Cinema in October of 2001, I heard a little voice inside me say: “This is where you belong.” 
 
It felt like home.
 
I loved that the theater was slightly shabby, that the prices were too cheap, the butter was still real, the films were still on film. I loved the kooky cast of characters working there, and the even kookier regulars who came to watch the films.
 
All you needed to be welcomed with open arms was a love of film. 
 
Here was a place that was never about money or power, but solely about the love of cinema…
 
Over the past eight years, I felt I have given more of myself to the theater than I had to give. I have loved that place with all of me, and have told every soul I came in contact with about how absolutely fantastic it is. I have loved it more than any person should love a theater.
 
And now everything I have been fighting for with all of my heart all this time has just been taken away…
 
I am a very open person and love sharing my life online. It hurt to ignore the dozens of emails, phone calls and texts asking me what was happening with the theater.
 
 If I ignored you, I’m sorry.
 
 I was censored.
 
This social media muzzling eventually became a confidentiality agreement that I refused to sign which would forbid me to say anything at all, on any public forum, about my job, the New Beverly Cinema or Quentin Tarantino.
 
Ever. 
 
Any violation of this agreement – and they would be constantly monitoring my social media outlets –was grounds for immediate dismissal.
Why would you want to silence your employees from saying good things about your business?
 
Because that is all I would ever say about the Bev. 
 
This monitoring soon became physical as well – we were welcomed into work last week with cameras absolutely everywhere. Not only watching the box office and snack bar, where the money is, but the manager’s office and projection booth as well.

We weren’t being protected, we were being watched. 
 
When I asked to know who was watching the monitors, I was ignored.
 
In the six weeks I worked with this new management “team”, which hypothetically included Julie McLean – Quentin’s personal assistant – Brian Quinn and projectionist Jeff Nowicki, I was left feeling completely vulnerable and isolated.
 
Although I was now a manager in title, I was never given any job parameters or instructions.
 
I was constantly left in the dark, my emails unanswered.
 
Emails about the status of our social media.
 
Emails about why showtimes aren’t easy to find online.
 
Emails about our inventory, about the theater, about my position.
 
Emails asking for help.
 
I was completely frozen out.
 
In fact Julie, my immediate superior, hasn’t answered an email of mine since October 3rd.
 
 And yet, I was supposed to be managing a theater during all of this time.
 
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…
 
My last words to her were: “You’re going to turn this place into a fucking multiplex, and it’s a goddam drag.”
 
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…
Embrace it while you can.
 
Watch the film HERE. 
Password: fightfor35 

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