Netflix has decided to reopen New York's iconic Paris cinema, which specializes in high-end cinema screenings.
The company has signed a lease to retain the venue for the most prestigious films in its portfolio.
The last single-screen cinema in the United States, Paris, closed in August 2019 at the end of its lease, after which Netflix opened it for a limited time to screen Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story. Experts predicted the closure of the cinema ten years ago, calling its existence in the age of multiplexes "a real miracle." The Paris property has been owned by American entrepreneur Sheldon Solow for the last thirty years.
Now, Netflix has revealed plans to use the venue for special events, retrospective screenings, and releases of its new films. “We are very pleased to announce that the doors to the famous New York cinema will remain open! The iconic venue will now be open and home to special events and screenings by Netflix,” the company’s official Twitter account said.
This is not the first time Netflix has tried to acquire a theater to showcase its own films. The company has previously considered purchasing the legendary Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles for premieres, awards and other events. In recent years, movies have become an increasingly important part of Netflix's traditional TV-focused business. The company is trying to compete with the biggest film studios, including Fox Searchlight and A24. At the same time, Netflix continues the race for blockbusters, withstanding competition from Disney and launching a number of high-profile premieres in the fourth quarter of 2019.
At the same time, market participants express dissatisfaction with the actions of Netflix and Amazon, indicating that films in release must be eligible for a 12-week exclusive screening on large screens before being sold on a subscription basis. Theoretically, owning small theaters around the country could give Netflix the ability to simultaneously show films in large format and broadcast them on its own streaming service.