Longtime New Beverly Employee Quits, Saying She Was Pushed Out By Tarantino Regime
Although the New Beverly Cinema has since reopened with an exciting first month of exclusively-celluloid programming as promised, the transition to the Quentin Tarantino regime seemed quite ugly behind the scenes and the changes can claim another casualty in the departure of longtime theater employee Julia Marchese.
In a post on her personal blog this morning, Marchese explained why she decided to leave the New Beverly after eight years of working simply out of "the love of cinema." Hired by the original owner of the business, the late Sherman Torgan, in May of 2006, Marchese was usually the first face moviegoers would see at the New Bev, as she frequently worked the box office. When Tarantino was set to take over the theater, Marchese was informed that she, along with Grindhouse Film Festival programmer Brian Quinn, would be promoted to co-managers of the theater. "Living paycheck to paycheck and being on food stamps at 35 years old is a sobering feeling—one I was ecstatic to say goodbye to," she writes.
Along with this promotion came social media silence on her end on orders to not speak about the changes happening at the theater (LAist received no response from Marchese when we reached out for our original story about the New Bev transition). "I was censored," she writes in her post. Marchese refused to sign a confidentiality agreement that forbade her from speaking about the theater, and she says that the "social media muzzling" was amped up in the form of workplace monitoring:
This monitoring soon became physical as well—we were welcomed into work last week with cameras absolutely everywhere. Not only watching the box office and snack bar, where the money is, but the manager’s office and projection booth as well.
We weren’t being protected, we were being watched.
Marchese says that despite her promotion, she was never given any "job parameters or instructions" and was eventually pushed aside, with emails to Julie McLean, Tarantino's personal assistant, going ignored and eventually being demoted to working only intermittent shifts at the snack bar ("In layman’s terms: I won’t fire you, because then I would have to pay unemployment, but I simply won’t schedule you—which forces resignation."). McLean is now the general manager of the New Bev, according to Marchese.
Marchese quit earlier this week. She wrote that, "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." Another passion project of Marchese was a documentary she had been working on since 2012, titled Out Of Print, about 35mm exhibition and the New Beverly Cinema. With the hopes of a premiere at the New Bev out of the picture, she made the film available to watch for free online.
Her parting shot to McLean before she left the New Bev as she knew it was: "You're going to turn this place into a fucking multiplex, and it's a goddam drag."