Netflix is stunting on the haters who accuse the company of ruining the traditional movie-going experience, not only by investing in theatrical screenings of original content but literally buying its own cinema–specifically, the historic Egyptian Theatre in the heart of Hollywood. The Egyptian is currently owned by American Cinematheque, a non-profit film preservation group. Negotiations are ongoing, but early reports say American Cinematheque would stick around in a programming partnership with Netflix.
I have both programmed for the Cinematheque at the Egyptian and worked at Netflix. I have no inside info about the deal except that it seems mutually beneficial. No one at the Cinematheque is being let go – if anything they are going to have more resources.
— Larry Karaszewski (@Karaszewski) April 9, 2019
Deadline broke the story this morning, reporting that American Cinematheque has struggled with cash flow recently, and stands to benefit from selling the historic building to Netflix. As the deal stands now, the non-profit will continue to run their own screenings, lectures, and festivals on weekends, totally independent of Netflix. The streaming giant will primarily use the space on weekday evenings, hosting premieres and special events.
The deal will not impact the lease American Cinematheque holds on the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. Nor will it replace the deals Netflix has with Landmark and iPic cinemas that the company uses to distribute certain films theatrically. Final details of the sale still need to be finalized, including resolving what Deadline describes as “issues involving real estate and city permits.”
Our question: If the deal goes through, will Netflix change the name of the Egyptian’s smaller screening room, the Steven Spielberg Theatre?
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