When Quentin Tarantino pledged to take over as head programmer at the New Beverly Cinema, the beloved Los Angeles revival theater he has owned for seven years, he said that he wanted it “to be a bastion for 35mm films.” But apparently not all that’s old is good in the director’s vision for his business. Longtime employee Julia Marchese, who directed a documentary on the theater that she planned to screen there later this year, was unceremoniously demoted from her position as a manager and forced to quit, according to an angry blog post on her personal website. Tarantino (or rather, his people) evidently messed with the wrong manager —Marchese is accusing the new management of selling out the theater’s soul, installing big brother-esque cameras and censoring employees with draconian contracts.
Marchese was hired at New Beverly in 2006 by the previous manager, and says she embraced the place as her second home. She sold candy and worked as a cashier, making less than $14,000 a year before being promised a salaried co-manager position this summer as part of Tarantino’s management shakeup. According to her post, she was given no job parameters or supervision, and the purported new “general manager” of the theater, Tarantino’s assistant Julie McLean, refused to answer her emails. The casual, familiar atmosphere with which the New Beverly greeted regulars like Kevin Smith and Patton Oswalt for years was replaced with ubiquitous security cameras. Additionally, Marchese says she was forced to sign a confidentiality agreement that barred her from discussing the New Beverly or Tarantino on any social media.
Here’s a snippet from the indictment:
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.
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.
“I went through the last six weeks really thinking Quentin was going to make it better,” Marchese told Deadline. “The thing that’s most shocking to me is that he’s allowing it and I can’t even talk to him about it. To not even be allowed to state my case is unfair.”
In response to her firing, and in a gesture of solidarity with film lovers everywhere, Marchese has decided to release her documentary, “Out of Print,” which features interviews with Edgar Wright and Joe Carnahan among others, for free. Watch below.