Netflix officially closed their deal to acquire the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard and will team with the venue’s nonprofit American Cinematheque. Deadline first broke the news last August of the streamer’s interest in the Sid Grauman built venue.
The American Cinematheque organization, established in 1984 will remain a non-profit, with the organization’s curation team intact, and along with Netflix will continue to expand the cinema’s movie and event programming. Netflix will invest in the theatre’s renovation and will use the revitalized space for special events, screenings and premieres during the week. The Cinematheque will continue to program and operate a second historic theater, the Aero in Santa Monica.
“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.”
“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 Chairman of the American Cinematheque, Rick Nicita. “The Egyptian Theatre remains our Hollywood home and we are grateful to both the City of Los Angeles and the Attorney General of the State of California as we accept this incredible opportunity that will greatly benefit the American Cinematheque.”
“Love for film is inseparable from L.A.’s history and identity,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We are working toward the day when audiences can return to theaters –– and this extraordinary partnership will preserve an important piece of our cultural heritage that can be shared for years to come.”
“The Netflix and American Cinematheque partnership at the Egyptian Theater is a win-win for film, historic preservation, and the arts,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, Los Angeles City Council 13th District. “The collaboration ensures the cultural destination remains in the Heart of Hollywood for decades to come.”
The Egyptian Theatre was built in 1922 during the silent film era. The Egyptian was the site of the first Hollywood movie premiere, of Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks. Other notable Silent-era premieres held at the Egyptian include: Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1923), Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush (1925) and Don Juan (1926) starring John Barrymore and Mary Astor. In 2016, with the financial support of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Turner Classic Movies and The Film Foundation, the projection booth at the Egyptian Theatre was retrofitted to begin screening 35mm nitrate movies and currently one of only four theaters in the United States capable of showing this rare, ultra fragile and flammable film stock.