Well, tonight was supposed to be John Carpenter’s The Thing at the Hollywood Cemetery. But in my half-dazed state of being nowadays, I managed to get the date wrong. When Stacie - my fellow staffer and movie buff fanatic – told me she’d just seen The Thing there last weekend, I thought, “hmm…that’s funny…”
Not so funny. But, if I don’t get to watch my all-time favorite horror movie tonight, thankfully in L.A., you have lots of movie options, and leave it to the New Beverly to be screening Ghostbusters at the very same time. If you can’t have Kurt Russell as one of the ultimate, underrated action-sci-fi-horror heroes R.J. MacReady, then Bill Murray as Dr. Venkman will fill in just fine.
I boogied over to the theater at the last minute from the westside to Hollywood, which would normally take half the night, but for some reason, on major holiday weekends, L.A. becomes a ghost town. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but I’ll take it. Since I hadn’t eaten dinner, and the trailer for Mystery Team looked like a lame cross between Scooby-Doo and Old School, I skipped the first half of the double bill for some quick Indian food (not sure how the calorie count compares to popcorn, but I’ll give it a shot, and I did finally work out yesterday).
Here’s what’s really cool about tonight’s screening besides a glorious new print of the film and the Ray Parker theme song. It’s at the New Beverly, which I’ve frequented ever since my days in the early ‘90s when me and my friends would have to bus it over from the USC campus. If you don’t think you know the New Beverly, you do a little bit…in Swingers, a New Beverly movie schedule hangs from Jon Favreau’s fridge - a nice memento of L.A. along with that movie’s odes to hangouts like The Dresden and The Derby.
This is the revival theater in L.A. to see. The double features are original and divine. After Ghostbusters tonight, there’s a midnight screening of Reservoir Dogs. Next week, there’s a Sly Stallone triple bill of Cobra, Tango & Cash and Cliffhanger. Later this month are classics like Fiddler on the Roof, Shane and Point Blank alongside cult clasics Chopping Mall and The Wild Life.
And that’s the way it’s been for decades at The New Beverly – although that almost changed. When the New Beverly fell on hard times recently, and the Torgan family that runs it was in danger of having their longtime business turned into a Supercuts or some nonsense, Quentin Tarantino – who’d frequented the cinema many a time during his childhood and formative years – stepped in to provide the necessary funds.
Like Hugh Hefner’s save of the Hollywood sign, Tarantino put his money where his mouth is – his true love of moviewatching. He’s stated since that as long as he has the means, The New Beverly will always remain The New Beverly, and movie lovers will be able to experience established classics and hidden gems for generations to come. That's inspiring to a guy like me whose foremost love has always been watching movies. I salute Quentin and the New Beverly...now bring on some ectoplasm!