Netflix is looking to expand its empire into the movie theater business to show they are more than just about streaming movies.
Deadline reports that Netflix is in talks with American Cinematheque to buy the historical Egyptian Theatre located in Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard. If it goes through, this will be the first movie theater acquisition for Netflix.
The report says that they are looking to buy the theater for tens of millions of dollars, and “it will put Netflix in good standing with the Hollywood cinephile community as the disruptive streaming company helps to preserve one of Hollywood’s landmark movie theaters and its long tradition. It is also putting the non-profit American Cinematheque on firmer financial footing in the process.”
The Egyptian Theater was built in the early 1920s by Sid Grauman. The theater went through a $12.8 million renovation in 1998 and has been holding lots of special event screenings and movie premieres since.
I enjoy going to these special movie screenings at the Egyptian and thankfully those special events will not end. That was the first thing I worried about, but it’s explained that “both parties look at this as something of a partnership.” According to sources, “Netflix will program its screenings for weekday nights while the Cinematheque runs screenings, lectures and occasional festivals on weekends on an autonomous basis.”
It’s also pointed out that “the organization will be able to expand its programming with the financial resources from this deal.” Cinematheque also will continue to run its other event screenings at the historic Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.
In the end, this could be a good move for Cinematheque, who has apparently been cash strapped in recent years. So to keep their vision going and to be able to continue to do what they do, an influx of cast like this and Netflix backing them is a great opportunity for them. I don’t blame them for wanting to be in business with Netflix.