Thursday, August 5, 2010

City of Torrance Cancels Open-Air Screening of Jackie Brown at the Last Moment!

The City of Torrance denies movie lovers an opportunity to celebrate together a fun movie by Quentin Tarantino that was actually shot in the city!

The awesome Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain from Austin (where you can enjoy gourmet food while enjoying the most best selections world cinema has to offer) is putting on a series of screenings across the nation that take place where the movies were actually filmed.

I have been looking forward to the Jackie Brown screening tomorrow (Friday) at Del Amo Mall in Torrance because I love Tarantino's films and I have many fond memories at that mall. I know all those locations inside the mall where the movie takes place.

Yesterday I find out that the City of Torrance refused to issue the permit on the grounds of violation of sound ordinance. The City canceled a celebration of what is great about cinema, South Bay, Torrance. I was very disappointed, and I've never felt so compelled to convey my thoughts to any government officials before. I emailed the City and its mayor. Here it is:

Dear Mayor,

I was very much looking forward to the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow at Del Amo Mall this Friday. I am very disappointed that it won't happen.

I love Torrance and have been a resident on and off for over 15 years. This event would have been a great way to strengthen a sense of community and introduce non-Torrance residents to this wonderful city.

A great opportunity has been lost!


Today I received this response from the Office of City Manager:

Thank you for writing us. I understand your dissappointment regarding the cancellation of the Alamo Drafthouse's Rolling Road Show "Jackie Brown" Screening at Del Amo this Saturday. I am a member of the Special Events Team which approves and assists anyone interested in holding a City event with the permitting process and requirements. Unfortunatley, the revised  version of the show would have violated city ordinances and sound violations put in place after 9 p.m. Again I apologize for your dissapointment but these are requirements for City events. Feel free to contact me with any further questions or concerns.


I wrote back to the City moments ago:

Thank you for responding to my email. I don't know all the details, so I really can't make an appropriate judgment on this situation. I trust that the city tried in good faith to make it work. I do believe that there are no homes or apartments inside the mall's complex, so I wonder how the sound will be a disturbance to anyone, especially residents.

This event would have shed a giant positive spotlight on the city. To me, it would have been a celebration of what I love about Torrance -- a sentiment many others no doubt share. Jackie Brown is in fact a celebration of South Bay, in particular Torrance. Such opportunity doesn't come around too often. This event could have been a story I share with my friends and family for many years to come, but instead I have to tell others that this celebration fell apart in the last possible moment. I've never felt so compelled to voice my perspective to the city before.

Once again, thank you for writing back.


Despite this disappointing change, I look forward to the screening, now taking place at Proud Bird by LAX. What better ways to spend a Friday night than in the presence of countless other movie lovers  collectively celebrating cinema and everything good about the South Bay!

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