Steven Spielberg with this one, but we'll see.may not win over
The Deadline first reported the news.)company is in preliminary talks to buy the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles, a historic cinema that screens classic films and other cinephile fare, a source familiar with the matter said Tuesday. (
Netflix isn't about to become the next Cinemark or AMC -- this doesn't presagemaking a wider push into becoming a movie theater chain, the person said. Nor would it change Netflix's existing partnerships with theater chains like iPic and Landmark that already screen Netflix's films theatrically (and also help make its films eligible for Oscars).
But owning this particular theater -- and supporting the nonprofit that programs the events there -- could be a small step toward building its bona fides as a company that appreciates old-school theatrical experiences for film, countering a perception that Netflix actually wants to tear them down.
After theeffectively banned Netflix last year from competing for its most prestigious awards, Netflix had its best year ever at the Oscars in February. It took home four statues total, including high-profile wins for Alfonso Cuaron's black-and-white Roma. But corners of traditional Hollywood bristled at Netflix's approach to the film-award game and how close Netflix got to a hallowed Best Picture statue.
Theater chains and, who is on the Oscars' influential Board of Governors, have spoken out against Netflix's Oscars progress, saying that its films are "made-for-TV movies" or that they are more suitable for Emmy awards instead.
Netflix's attitude about theatrical release -- that movies should bethe same day they open in theaters, or soon thereafter -- underpins most of these divisions.
Should the early talks succeed in Netflix buying the Egyptian for tens of millions of dollars, the company would use the cinema as a place for its own screenings and events during the week and allow the nonprofit that leases it, American Cinematheque, to continue to program art-house and classic films during the weekends.
That could represent Netflix using some of its eye-popping budget to buttress a cinematic institution in the heart of Hollywood.