Movie Clicks To Bricks: Netflix Takes Long Lease On Physical Cinema
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There is a fierce debate going on in the world of cinema right now about whether streaming services like Netflix are threatening the brick-and-mortar movie theater. But the company has made a move to counter the argument it is pushing viewers away from cinemas, by taking a long lease on a well-known cinema in New York.
The streaming giant confirmed this week that it has taken a lease on the Paris Theatre, which is close to Central Park and Fifth Avenue. The Paris is the last single-screen movie theater in New York and shut its doors in August after 71 years in business before Netflix leased the property, which is owned by the Solow family.
The move is a cinematic example of the wider trend of online companies buying or leasing physical real estate as a way of reaching customers. Other examples include Amazon’s ongoing expansion of its physical footprint.
Netflix did not comment on the length of the lease, but Deadline reports it runs for 10 years.
“After 71 years, the Paris Theatre has an enduring legacy, and remains the destination for a one-of-a kind movie-going experience,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said.
Initially, Netflix is using the cinema to show Marriage Story by New York director Noah Baumbach, one of several films it hopes will be in contention at next year’s Oscars. But Deadline said that Netflix expects to run a full program of films at the Paris and hold special events related to its big new releases. Netflix is also reportedly in negotiations to buy the famous Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles.
The 581-capacity theater has plush, blue-velvet seats and a purple-blue curtain. It was opened in 1948 by French news organisation Pathé, with Marlene Dietrich cutting the ribbon, and originally only showed French-language films.