While many people bemoan the decline of moviegoing, the former owner of Santa Monica's Cinephile Video has found his greatest success by taking his passion for movies to an even more impractical place. He turned an old Fairfax Ave. theater into one of the most innovative and creative rep houses in the country. Supporters include Spike Jonze, Robert Downey, Jr., and Benecio Del Toro, all of whom threw their support behind last year's Fantastic Elastic 24 Hr. Holiday Telethon. This brought Cinefamily a digital projector (thanks to Downey) and much of the funding they needed for 2013.
"We're doing very good work and we're in a town where they're the local talent," Belove said. "I don't try to leach. I'm offering guests opportunities to do interesting work -- the same reason they would perform at Largo."
However, the real secret to Cinefamily's success may be delusion; Belove and his team work as if the events they create will last forever. "It's mosquitos with an elephant gun," he says. "There's no reason to put that much energy into a show. It's really ephemeral work we're doing. Once you do 'The Cave of Forgotten Dreams' show at the Natural History Museum, it's over." (He still remembers forgetting food in the green room for director Werner Herzog.) "The real success," he said, "is sellouts for the entire thing."
"The Telethon. I may get better at doing what I've done, but that's probably my life's work as a programmer."
"I'd hoped to have a better infrastructure at this point. I am the executive director, programmer, development -- I thought I could move more fully into creative director. I'm still doing things I'm not that good at."
Infrastructure. "I want to finish renovating, get a beer and wine license to make it more sustainable," he said. "Build a stronger development side. We don't have fundraising like most nonprofits. There's no annual program fund. We need more industry outreach."
Getting Cinefamily online. "We want to create podcasts, video Q&As and original content," he said, "revamping the website to create a national online presence instead of just a local one."