As the owner of Los Angeles’ New Beverly Cinema, Quentin Tarantino has dedicated himself to the preservation of celluloid, which he has pledged will be the only format shown within the New Bev’s walls. But that doesn’t include preserving the local institution’s staff, according to longtime and now former employee Julia Marchese. In a post on her personal blog, Marchese, who has worked at the theater since 2006, says that since Tarantino took over managing the theater in September, the atmosphere has been less “Jackie Brown” and more Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil.” Cameras have been installed throughout the workplace, including the manager’s office and the projection booth, and employees were required to sign a contract preventing them from saying anything — good or bad — about the New Beverly or Tarantino in any public form. Marchese, who calls herself “a very open person,” refused, and six weeks after being promoted to manager with an annual salary of around $50,000 — more than four times what she made the previous year — she was demoted (or, in her words, “forced to quit”) by Tarantino’s personal assistant, Julie McLean, who is handling the theater’s day-to-day affairs. Marchese writes:
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.
Marchese has also been working on a documentary, “Out of Print,” about the New Beverly, which she had planned to premiere there next year. Since that obviously won’t be happening, she’s put it up on Vimeo for free, with such luminaries as Joe Carnahan, Joe Dante, Stuart Gordon, Seth Green, Rian Johnson, Llyod Kaufman, Richard Kelly, John Landis, Patton Oswalt, Mark Romanek, Kevin Smith and Edgar Wright discussing how important it is to keep 35mm projection alive. Since that subject has been up for debate in these parts of late, it seemed only fair to give “Out of Print” an airing as well.