While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated cinema’s movement towards streaming services, Quentin Tarantino is investing in the theatrical experience. Via The Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar-winning filmmaker has now purchased the historic Vista Theatre on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California.
“I bought the Vista on Sunset,” Tarantino announced on the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. “We’ll probably open it up around Christmas time.”
This is the second venue acquired by Tarantino, after he picked up the New Beverly Cinema in 2007. That theater shows older 35mm and 16mm films, mostly plucked from Tarantino’s vast personal collection.
Our 2019 Filmmaker of the Year hopes to create a different experience at the Vista Theatre. Originally opened in 1923, the Vista has hosted vaudeville acts, early silent films, softcore and hardcore pornography, and, in recent years, first-run feature films. Tarantino sounds mostly interested in the latter; he said, “It won’t be a revival house. We’ll show new movies that come out where they give us a film print. It’s not going to be like the New Beverly. The New Beverly has its own vibe. The Vista is like a crown jewel kind of thing. We’ll show older films, but it will be like you can hold a four-night engagement.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Tarantino opined on the recent struggles of movie chains, which included financial problems for AMC and Alamo Drafthouse. “Some of these exhibitors that are going — I never like to see any movie theater closing — but some of these exhibitors who are going, they fucking deserve to go,” Tarantino said. “They have taken all the specialness out of movies anyway. Some of these chains where they’re showing commercials all through it; they don’t turn the lights down, everything is stadium seating, plastic shit.”
He added, “They have been writing their own epitaph for a long time, but they assumed the business would take you along. It’s been crazy throughout my career to see how the film experience is lessened for the viewer like every five years. However, I do think boutique cinemas actually will thrive in this time. And I am not talking about the La-Z-Boy, order nachos and margaritas … I actually like the Alamo Drafthouse a lot. But I have a living room, I want to go to the theater.”
Tarantino recently dropped a novelization of his ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Last month, the 58-year-old reiterated his plan to retire after the 10th, saying, “I know film history, and from here on end, directors do not get better.”