Sherman Torgan, New Beverly Theatre owner, has died

posted by MagicLantern on July 20, 2007 at 8:20 am

From the Greencine website:

“From Hollywood Elsewhere comes sad news from the very heart of Hollywood,” writes Dennis Cozzalio. “Sherman Torgan, owner and manager of the New Beverly Cinema, died unexpectedly yesterday while bicycling in Santa Monica.”

“I imagine he died doing what he loved, which is a happy thing; I don’t think anyone could run a theater like the New Beverly for three decades without having a passion for it,” writes David Lowery. “There’s an art to showing movies, a sort of showmanship crossed with curatorial craft, and it’s slowly being lost. It’ll never fade completely (not as long as devotees are willing to set up screenings in Parisian catacombs), but as of today its its lustre is a little bit dimmer than it was before.”

“[S]ome of you may have noticed he got a thanks in the Grindhouse credits,” notes Blake Ethridge at Cinema is Dope. “Condolences to everyone that knew Sherman and were touched over the decades with his charge and dedication in providing films old and new a place to still breath and to be discovered all over again.”

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Comments (7)

William on July 20, 2007 at 9:23 am

He kept the show going after everyone else dropped that revival format. The theatre was not a fancy state of the art house, but a film lovers haven. A place to see the Classics and Important young film makers works on the big screen.

Thanks Sherman for ALL those Great Times at the Movies.


br91975 on July 20, 2007 at 11:21 am

Posted last night by Michael Torgan, Sherman’s son, on the New Beverly website:

Due to the sudden and completely unexpected passing of my father Sherman, the New Beverly’s programming will be cancelled until further notice.

Sherman was my father and my best friend, and his passing has left me and my family completely devastated. He was the main force behind the New Beverly from May 5, 1978 until the present. I simply do not known when I will be able to fill his shoes. My pain and sorrow are truly too much to bear right now. He was still so young and full of life, and was doing what he loved so much, riding his bike on the Santa Monica bike path, when he died. My mom and I am in utter shock.

Thank you to everyone for their support during this difficult time.

Please check this website for any updates on public memorials and the future of the New Beverly Cinema.

With love,
Michael Torgan

markinthedark on July 20, 2007 at 6:47 pm

Truly a sad loss for his family, Los Angeles, the exhibition community. A brave pioneer who kept a revival house going when most were disappearing in the adverse conditions of the home-video market.

Hopefully his family will be brave enough to carry on with the New Beverly in honor of his memory.

I would like to thank Sherman for giving me the chance to see one of my favorite underrated films, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, on the big screen.

bklynhowie on July 22, 2007 at 10:36 am

I just hope that the theater survives Sherman’s untimely passing.
We can’t lose another movie theater like this. The fact that Sherman kept the theater running for so long was amazing. DVD’s are great but NOTHING can compare to watching a classic film in a real movie theater.

Sherman, I hope you are watching these flicks in the big movie theater in the sky. You and your vision will be remmembered.

Hollywood Howie

William on July 24, 2007 at 5:13 am

It looks like they will be closing their doors on Tuesday. A friend told me he got a call from one the projectionists this news.

MagicLantern on July 27, 2007 at 4:06 am

They’re keeping it open for the time being – the double-bill of “The Sinful Dwarf” and “Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks” was nearly sold out just three days ago on Tuesday.

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