Netflix collaborated with the American Cinematheque to expand the scope and diversity of programming while continuing the nonprofit’s mission to celebrate the experience of cinema as a moving art form.
Netflix has completed its purchase of Hollywood’s historic Egyptian Theatre, helping to confirm the streaming giant’s newfound central position in the movie industry.
Netflix and the American Cinematheque have collaborated to ensure the long-term future of the Egyptian Theatre, site of the first Hollywood movie premiere and the long-time home of the American Cinematheque. This collaboration will enable the non-profit American Cinematheque to expand the scope and diversity of its widely praised movie and event programming, its filmmaker-centric festivals and its educational outreach at the theatre.
Established in Los Angeles in 1984 as a non-profit member-supported cultural organisation, the American Cinematheque creates spaces where both the public and members of the film industry come together as a community with the common language of film.
The Egyptian Theatre will remain the home of the American Cinematheque with the organisation’s curation team continuing to autonomously programme on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Netflix will invest in the theatre’s renovation and will use the revitalised space for special events, screenings and premieres during the week.
Commenting on the acquisition, Scott Stuber, head of Netflix Films, said: “The Egyptian Theatre is an incredible part of Hollywood history and has been treasured by the Los Angeles film community for nearly a century. We’re honoured to partner with the American Cinematheque to preserve the theatre’s storied legacy and continue providing remarkable film experiences for audiences. We look forward to expanding programming at the theatre in ways that will benefit both cinema lovers and the community.”
Chairman of the American Cinematheque, Rick Nicita, remarked: “The American Cinematheque was honoured 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. 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.”
The Egyptian Theatre is a classic and esteemed movie palace originally built in 1922 during the silent film era. A fixture in Hollywood’s Golden Age, 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.
The venue remains to this day an ultimate destination for moviegoers, where it has hosted groundbreaking film festivals and incredible cinematic experiences over the near-century it has been in Hollywood, the movie-making capital of the world. In 1996, the City of Los Angeles sold the building to the American Cinematheque as part of the City’s Hollywood Revitalisation project. The Cinematheque then raised the extensive funds to renovate and restore the theatre to its original grandeur and reopened it as a movie theatre showcasing the longtime organisation’s celebrated public programming.