Quentin Tarantino‘s New Beverly Cinema bought a digital projector shortly before the “Kill Bill” director decried digital projection as “the death of cinema” at the Cannes Film Festival.
Michael Torgan, who operates the L.A. repertory theater, told The Wrap that the New Beverly purchased the projector early last month in order to have greater access to current movies. Tarantino is the landlord for the New Beverly and does not handle its day to day operations.
“I was running into situations when I was talking with distributors for showings, and the films were only available on digital,” Torgan lamented.
Previous to the purchase, Torgan would rent digital projectors when it was necessary. He said “35mm will always be first choice,” but that he was relieved that the theater could play anything now.
Tarantino slammed digital projection as “television in cinema” at a press conference prior to the festival’s 20th anniversary screening of “Pulp Fiction” on May 23. He admitted that digital projection makes it far easier for young film makers to produce their work, but said the technology came at a cost.
“I’m hoping that while this generation is quite hopeless, that the next one will demand the real thing,” he said then. “I’m very hopeful that future generations will be much smarter than this generation and realize what they lost.”
“Pulp Fiction” was the only film to be screened at Cannes on film. “The fact that most films aren’t presented in 35mm means that the war is lost,” he said.
Tarantino did not return a request for comment.
While it appears that the reality of running a modern cinema includes digital projection as an option, hopefully all is not lost.