Yelp Launches Beret Cinema Club at O Cinema
Monica Silvestre, the Yelp Miami community manager who coordinates events for Yelp Elitists, dishes on deets, what it takes to be "Elite," and her movie crushes.
New Times: How'd you come up with the name "The Yelp Beret Cinema Club" and how did this idea come to light?
Monica Silvestre: WLRN invited me to O Cinema one night to catch the movie Scissors and Glue so I went and invited my elite Yelpers. They loved the idea of an indie cinema get-together and one of them, Rony, showed up wearing a beret; Kareem (co-owner of O Cinema) and I thought it was too funny and I just came up with this on-the-fly idea to make a monthly cinema club there. Kareem agreed to have O Cinema be the venue and I told PBR about the idea and they jumped on board as our permanent beer sponsor -- and before I knew it, I ordered 200 red berets!
Is this event open to only Yelpers or to anyone?
Anyone can RSVP on the Yelp page. $5 gets you Pabst beers plus a ticket to see The Other F Word. There's 55 seats in the cinema but Kareem can accommodate more -- up to 80. (There's comfy couches in front of the front row too.)
What makes one an "Elite Yelper" and what privileges do they get?
Yelp elites are really passionate users; They're proud of the city that they live in and they translate their experiences onto Yelp. They have quality postings and they use Yelp as a way to steer others to their personal favorite places.
The privileges they get are the Yelp Elite events -- where they meet fellow Yelpers. They're proud of their elite statuses and when they bring their "+ 1's" as their guests, they get to see their world and want in on it. An elitist is one to geek out over truffled-covered mac n' cheese and write about it -- the writing is on the wall, literally.
The movie The Other F Word is about famous Punk-rockers and their daily challenges of fatherhood. What made you choose this flick as the first screening for the Cinema Club?
I let the owners of O Cinema Kareem Tabsch and Vivian Marthell curate it; It was either "The Other F Word" or some weird anime flick, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos. We figured the former would probably be a better fit.
How has Yelp transformed in the past couple of years?
When I started working for Yelp in Philly in 2009 as the same role I have now, I would walk into a room and when I told people that I work for Yelp they wouldn't know what it was. Now, when I walk into a room people definitely know what Yelp is. It's grown immensely. If you're writing reviews then you build a following as it creates a common ground with others who read your reviews and can relate to similar experiences -- or maybe they had an opposite experience. These Yelp events help bring people together when they can relate to each other and friendships begin to flourish; it's always been a passion of mine to connect people and bring new people together.
Are you a filmophile? What are some of your favorite flicks?
I'm totally addicted to television and huge into indie-films, moreso than big blockbusters. Indies hit more closer to home. I love that as Community Manager that I'm able to combine something that I really love and use it for the job - it's great to share in my personal interests.
Movies that I really love are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Clerks, Lost in Translation and Cutting Edge -- not all of them qualify as indie, but the storylines are great.
Fave director and movie crush?
I love Pedro Almodovar -- he's an insanely twisted Spanish director. He directed The Skin I Live In. He has a way of making sense of totally bizarre things.
As far as crushes, I think Jason Segel is a dreamboat!
As Yelp's Miami community manager, you connect people to local businesses. What cool events can we look forward to after this Beret Cinema event?
There's a top-secret event called "Jet Set Sete" that will be at the National Hotel on April 5. We're expecting close to 1,500 people. It'll be a free event with music, food, and drinks. Anyone can attend -- more details will follow when the date nears as well as an upcoming event page on Yelp to RSVP to.
See Monica's reviews and keep in touch with her at heymonica.yelp.com.
Think you qualify to be part of the "Elite" squad or want to nominate someone? Shoot her a message and she'll forward it to the Yelp Elite Council -- maybe you'll be knighted with a Yelp beret.
Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.