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Since its opening on July 26, Quentin Tarantino fans have been flocking to New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The result: a record consecutive 55 sold-out screenings, the theater says.
The iconic venue (at 7165 Beverly Blvd.) is touting several tie-ins to the Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt starrer, including the unique preshow presentation, classic concessions and themed walk-in music. It also helps that it’s stocked with props from Tarantino’s latest film, an ode to the Golden Age of the industry.
Yet the outsized reception for Hollywood has surprised New Beverly’s director of operations Jules McLean, who has worked at the venue for years. “We added 10 a.m. screenings, matinee screenings and even weeknight midnight shows to accommodate the demand,” McLean told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday. (The 7:30 p.m. showing was already sold out and the midnight nearly there, too.)
The film has grossed an impressive $166,605 so far at that venue, which puts it in second place among cinemas showing the 35mm celluloid version of the film. The Arclight in Hollywood is at the top of that list, with $457,905. In total, the 35mm version has grossed $3.5 million and the 70mm version has taken in $1.4 million. (In total, Hollywood has grossed $208.5 million worldwide.)
Tarantino films, naturally, have always done well at the theater, which the filmmaker bought in 2007. McLean noted The Hateful Eight had sell-outs, and midnight showings of assorted Tarantino films tend to be packed, but this is special.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood brings a lot of energy to the theatre and it is infectious,” she said. “Watching a movie, even if you go to the theatre alone, is a communal experience. It’s like this movie was made for that. Afterwards, folks like to hang out in the lobby or just outside and share their thoughts and views. You don’t always see that. I’ve really enjoyed talking to people and finding out that they have seen the film four, five and six times already and are just as enthusiastic to see it again.”
And it is not just the movie that has been a hot-ticket item for the theater. Merchandise, such as shirts, have also been moving fast. “The merchandise is flying out the door, we have had to re-order shirts twice,” she said. “More to come in that area too, as we are working on several new shirt designs, pins, tote bags and more.”
Among the throng of fans descending on the theater night after night have been a number of famous faces, including Tarantino, who was there for opening night (“I loved that he mentioned not bringing out cell phones during the movie, as that is one of our big things”) and Oscar-winning Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro.
“We’ve had numerous folks come by, but the one that touched me the most was Clu Gulager,” McLean said. “Clu has had a wonderful career as an actor, from episodic TV shows like Wagon Train and The Tall Man to films like The Last Picture Show and Return of the Living Dead.
Added McLean, “Clu has been a regular at the New Bev for decades and he can be seen in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Seeing him sitting in the front row with his family and friends and knowing he was about to share a special moment with them was very memorable.”
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