Having already been a vaudeville theater, a nightclub called Slapsie Maxie’s and various movie house incarnations from foreign films to porn, the New Beverly Cinema opened for business in 1978. Owner Sherman Torgan operated the theater for nearly three decades as a premier revival house featuring the gamut of films, from Hollywood classics to art-house fare to blockbusters, while elsewhere across L.A. (not to mention the nation), countless other repertory cinemas fell victim to the home-video age and shuttered. When Torgan died suddenly in 2007, it seemed the New Beverly would join the city’s other long-lost rep theaters; its lease was set to expire and the landlords were eager to convert the location to retail space. Thank the cinema gods for Quentin Tarantino, a longtime loyal patron who’d donated cash to help keep the doors open and earlier this year bought the place outright. While Torgan’s son Michael and the New Beverly’s crack staff of cineastes continue to operate as always — excellent 35mm prints, reasonably priced concessions and a real bargain at seven bucks for two features — their fairy godfather Q.T.’s considerable financial support has allowed them to spruce up the place, with a beautiful new façade and marquee, shiny new fixtures and air conditioning. Hell, even the restrooms have never looked spiffier. Let’s keep that projector rolling well into the 21st century. 7165 W. Beverly Blvd., Mid-City. (323) 938-4038; newbevcinema.com. —Nicole Campos
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