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Netflix has reportedly considered buying movie theaters

The streaming giant considered purchasing theaters in New York and Los Angeles, the LA Times reports.

A Netflix return mailer is pictured in M
Robert Sullivan / AFP/Getty Images

Netflix has reportedly considered making the move from small screens to the silver screen.

The streaming giant explored the idea of buying movie theaters in New York and Los Angeles to screen its growing stable of original programming, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. The company reportedly eyed Los Angeles-based Landmark Theatres but recently backed off the idea because executives feared the purchased price would be too high.

Purchasing a movie theater chain would represent a new component in the streaming giant's ambitions to become an entertainment giant. The Los Gatos, California-based company plans to spend up to $8 billion on content this year, but it's still getting little respect from the traditional filmmaking industry.

Last month, Steven Spielberg said movies that have mere "token" theatrical runs -- as those from Netflix do -- shouldn't be in the running for Oscars. Also last month, the board of the prestigious Cannes film festival banned Netflix films from award competition, prompting the company to pull out of screening anything at the festival at all.

A chain of theaters dedicated to showing Netflix original content could go a long way toward improving the company's reputation with the film industry.

Netflix didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

CNET's Joan E. Solsman contributed to this report.

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