You already know that this year marks the 30th anniversary of National Lampoon’s Animal House and that this summer I’ll have a special goody or two related to that anniversary coming up right here at this space. But 1978 also marked the unveiling of a local Los Angeles treasure, a revival house that, despite tough times is enjoying a bit of a revival of its own these days. The New Beverly Cinema is 30 years old this month, and Michael Torgan has decided to celebrate the occasion by recreating the first calendar created for the theater by his dad, Sherman Torgan, the original force behind the New Beverly, who passed away last summer. In a statement on the New Beverly’s web site, Michael speaks of his tribute to his dad’s original vision for the theater:
“The May 2008 is lovingly dedicated to my dad Sherman, who was the main driving force behind the New Beverly from its founding in '78 until his sudden and untimely passing this past July. The New Beverly would have never made it this far without him, and we'll never forget him.”
The only deviations from that schedule (which you can read here) will be the Tuesday Grindhouse Film Festival shows, the midnight movies, and a substitution for Logan’s Run through May 6, necessitated by the fact that no studio print of the movie seems to be in existence!
The double feature, a tribute to the science fiction offerings in waning days of MGM in the ‘70s, that originally featured Logan’s Run, survives thematically, however. You can see Westworld (1973) and Soylent Green (1973) at the New Beverly tonight and tip your hat not only to the visions of the future that managed to squeak through the studio at a time when executive James T. Aubrey, Jr. was slashing budgets and alienating talent, but also to the memory of the recently deceased Charlton Heston, and to Sherman Torgan as well. And I have it on good authority that my friend Haruka Sometani-Straight, a pure-at-heart, card-carrying member of the New Beverly faithful, will be providing freshly baked Soylent Green cookies free of charge to those who attend tonight’s screening. Those of you who have seen Soylent Green may rest assured that Haruka has not varied one iota from the original recipe provided by the visionary urban planners whose template for population control proved so effective in the movie. And they’re delicious too! My tummy’s already grumblin’. See you tonight at the New Beverly, Haruka!