Belfast Telegraph

Netflix in talks to buy historic Hollywood cinema

The streaming giant could become the new owner of the Egyptian Theatre.

Netflix is in talks to buy a historic Hollywood theatre (Nick Ansell/PA)
Netflix is in talks to buy a historic Hollywood theatre (Nick Ansell/PA)

Netflix is in talks to buy a historic Hollywood theatre in what would represent the first foray into a brick-and-mortar cinema for the streaming giant.

It is understood the company could be the next owner of the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, with discussions ongoing with current owner American Cinematheque.

However, any deal would not signal a move into the physical theatre business for Netflix, according to Deadline.

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Netflix is in talks to buy a historic Hollywood theatre (Netflix/PA)

The Egyptian Theatre was opened in 1922 and was the site of the first-ever Hollywood movie premiere, hosting the debut night of Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks.

It has been owned by American Cinematheque, a non-profit dedicated to film, since 1998.

Should Netflix complete the purchase, it would likely improve its standing in Hollywood at a time when sections of the film industry, including brick-and-mortar cinemas, are decrying its ever-growing influence.

While it started as a distribution service, Netflix is now a major film and TV producer and one of its movies, Roma, won three Oscars earlier this year.

Revered director Steven Spielberg is working to have Netflix banned from the Academy Awards, arguing their projects should instead be entered into the Emmys, which celebrate excellence in TV.

At a gathering of theatre owners in Las Vegas earlier this month, Dame Helen Mirren jokingly yelled “f*** Netflix”, adding “there is nothing like sitting in the cinema”.

Some cinema owners fear Netflix, which as of January had 139 million subscribers around the world, poses an existential threat to their futures through their streaming business model.

Netflix disputes this and argues it allows people without access to theatres to see films. Netflix has been contacted for comment.

PA

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