After a long negotiation, Netflix has finally sealed the deal for Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre. Netflix shared the news on Friday in a press release. The acquisition is a big step in the way of Netflix being a part of the Hollywood community.
The sale amount of the deal was not disclosed in the press release. The sale was done amid years of financial struggles for the Cinematheque. Chairman Rick Nicita told the Los Angeles Times, “the organization was quickly approaching a crisis point.” Netflix now has a Los Angeles location to showcase films during awards season, and the news comes after the streamer saved New York’s Paris Theatre from closure in August 2019.
“The Egyptian Theatre is an incredible part of Hollywood history and has been treasured by the Los Angeles film community for nearly a century,” said Scott Stuber, head of Netflix Films. “We’re honored to partner with the American Cinematheque to preserve the theater’s storied legacy and continue providing remarkable film experiences for audiences. We look forward to expanding programming at the theater in ways that will benefit both cinema lovers and the community,” said Netflix.
In the year 1992, when the theatre saw its doom due to various reasons, American Cinematheque purchased the theatre for $1 under the condition that this historical landmark would be restored to its original grandeur and re-opened as a movie theatre showcasing the organization’s celebrated public programming. By the year 1998, the Egyptian Theatre was reopened after a renovation costing a huge amount of $12.8 million.
“The American Cinematheque was honored to bring the Egyptian back to life in 1998, and together with Netflix we are thrilled to continue this stewardship by restoring it once again for a new generation of film fans to experience movies on the big screen,” said Rick Nicita, Chairman of the American Cinematheque.
In 2016, the Egyptian Theatre was suitable to screen 35mm nitrate film and is now one of only four theatres in the United States capable of showing the fragile and flammable film stock. The purchase and renovations by Netflix will include upgrading the equipment for the theatre, making it more suitable and open for a wider variety of films. While this theatre would be under work, the Cinematheque will continue to operate a second historic theatre, The Aero, in Santa Monica.
“Love for film is inseparable from L.A.’s history and identity, We are working toward the day when audiences can return to theatres – and this extraordinary partnership will preserve an important piece of our cultural heritage that can be shared for years to come,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.