Oscar-winning writer-director Quentin Tarantino has bought the landmark Vista Theatre in L.A. He made the announcement during an episode of the podcast Armchair Expert. This is the second theater Tarantino owns, with the other being the New Beverly which he purchased in 2007.
No further details were discussed on the record, but a permit filed on March 8 gives us a little more insight into his plans for the theatre. In addition to that, an application for a Type 41 alcohol license has been submitted to California’s Department of Alchohol and Beverage Control under the name Quentin Jerome—Zastoupil is his mother’s last name.
In the document, Quentin Tarantino is named as the applicant. The project description reads: “Conditional uses to allow the sale and dispensing of beer & wine for on-site consumption with an existing 12,340 square foot theater, cafe, and arcade with 370 seats and 12 arcade games.” So while the Christmas opening was missed, there are some clues as to what we can expect for the Vista Theatre’s reopening.
During the show hosted by actors Dax Shepard and Monica Padma, Tarantino expressed his lament for cinemas attempting to recreate living rooms and believes some exhibitors that have closed for good deserved to go.
“They’ve taken all the specialness out of movies anyway,” Tarantino said during the episode. “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.
He continued, “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.”
The 1920s punch-colored building has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic with a message on the marquee that read, “To be continued.” On its website, the owners stated that they were working on something exciting, but it’s unclear whether this was part of that plan.
Unlike New Beverly, which shows older films, Vista will offer new releases, according to the director.
“It won’t be a revival house — we’ll show new movies that come out where they give us a film print, we’ll show new stuff. It’s not going to be like the New Beverly, the New Beverly has its own vibe,” he said. “The Vista is like a crown jewel kind of thing. So it will be the best prints, we’ll show older films, but they’ll be like older films where you can hold a fortnight engagement.”