Did you know that Quentin Tarantino owns and programs a revival movie house in Los Angeles, the New Beverly Cinema, and that the theater is staunchly committed to exhibiting classic movies on 35mm film prints in a booth full of analog gear?
Maybe you’re not aware that the film industry has undergone the same democratizing digitization process as music has. In the last five-seven years, not only do the majority of movies shoot on digital – but they’re now exhibited in the massive chains (Loews, AMC, etc) on DCP’s, which are basically fat hard drives.
Unlike in music recording technology, however, digital hasn’t quite caught up with the experience of analog in film exhibition: DCP’s rarely show “true black” contrasts, camera movements look blurry, and the whole image tends to skew a bit darker. Tarantino compared watching digitally-projected movies to “watching HBO in public” which is basically right – they haven’t figured out how to replicate the qualities of 35mm projection.
The LA Times caught up with New Bev projectionist Gariana Abeyta to talk about projecting prints of kung fu, spaghetti western, and crime movies, and got a neat, rare look at all the cool gear in their booth. Check out their clip below: