Netflix is truly expanding its brand beyond just streaming and making movies. The service is in talks to acquire the famed Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood which give Netflix another physical theater to show its films. However, the move would also help a struggling but historic theater stay open.
It’s been reported by Deadline that Netflix is working with the non-profit organization, American Cinematheque, to buy the theater located on Hollywood Boulevard. This reported deal, which is said to be in the tens of millions of dollars, would be a partnership between Netflix and the Cinematheque, which has been going through financial issues in recent years. With this agreement, Netflix could host screenings on weekdays while the Cinematheque runs screenings, lectures and occasional festivals on weekends. Netflix would also be able to host special screenings and events for major movie launches, while the Cinematheque could expand its programming with the money obtained if the deal goes through. The organization will also still have screenings at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.
A Hollywood Landmark
The Egyptian Theatre was opened by “Hollywood’s Master Showman” Sid Grauman in 1922. The theater hosted Hollywood’s very first movie premiere that same year, showing the silent film, Robin Hood, which was directed by Allan Dwan. The theatre itself could be described as a luxurious Egyptian palace, with specific designs and decorating that resemble a pharaoh’s residence. In addition to its film screenings, the Egyptian Theatre has been the stage for performances by legends like Lawrence Welk, BB King, Jay Leno, Ray Charles, and Wynton Marsalis.
This move by Netflix wouldn’t just impact the company financially. It would also help to preserve a staple in the Hollywood community, one that has been around for nearly 100 years. Though the convenience of streaming movies is beginning to reign supreme, many film enthusiasts and critics enjoy going to theaters and respect the history of classic buildings like this one. The Netflix-Cinematheque negotiations between Netflix and the Cinematheque will not be finalized until issues involving real estate and city permits are resolved. However, the company is hopeful that an agreement will be reached soon.
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