But cinema nearly lost one of these last gems. The New Beverly in Los Angeles has been in danger for some time. With the rise of DVDs, the theater was suffering a possible closure and new life as a Super Cuts until Quentin Tarantino, a longtime fan and patron of the theater, stepped in. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he volunteered to pay $5,000 a month to keep the theater open. He's been doing so steadily until 2007, when owner and family patriarch Sherman Togan passed away. The theater was in danger of closing again, as the landlord had a buyer bidding for the space as the Togan family tried to stall for time and rescue. Luckily, Tarantino stepped up again, and this time purchased The New Beverly outright. "I always considered the New Beverly my charity -- an investment I never wanted back," he told THR. "I already had a good relationship with the family and the theater, so it was a natural step."
Even he had to battle to win the theater, as the original landlord and the determined buyer attempted to block his bid. But he won, and the New Beverly is safe and can undergo some badly needed renovations. Tarantino plans to leave the Torgan family in charge, though as owner he's going to indulge in some screenings. "I can make programming suggestions when I want to. It is cool to have a theater that I can use to show what I like ... As long as I'm alive, and as long as I'm rich, the New Beverly will be there, showing double features in 35mm."
So, everyone say a big thank you to Tarantino. Whether you're a fan of his films, hate them, or dismiss them as too heavy on homages, you have to appreciate any effort to keep independent businesses open, and classic cinema alive and screening. Now, if we can only find a way to keep him alive and rich so that the theater lives forever (and enable him to bestow a similar gift in every city) moviegoers of all ages could be happy and indulge in 35 mm screenings whenever they wanted.