HOLLYWOOD—Netflix and the American Cinematheque announced their partnership Friday, May 29 as an effort to preserve the historic Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Their partnership is also an effort to ensure the American Cinematheque’s programming remains alive at this theater. The Cinematheque will still operate their second well-known theater, the Aero, in Santa Monica.
Under the new arrangement, the organization will run their programs and events on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The proceeds from sales will go directly towards enhancing their services and preserving cinema culture for generations.
Netflix, the global, 23-year-old streaming service, will invest in the theater’s renovation and will use the space for special events, screenings and premieres during the week. A planned renovation includes adding state-of-the-art sound for future 35mm, 70mm, nitrate, and video screenings.
“This collaboration will enable the nonprofit 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 beloved theater,” Netflix stated.
Sid Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre opened on Oct. 18, 1922. Today, the Los Angeles icon is one of the most famous theaters in the world. The American Cinematheque was established in 1981 as a member supported, nonprofit cultural arts organization. Their mission is to celebrate the experience of cinema as a moving art form.
“The American Cinematheque was honored to bring the Egyptian back to life in 1998, 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.” Rick Nicita, Chairman of the AC expressed. “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,”
Patrons and members of the community have responded with either support or negativity. “I think this is a great partnership! I’m a patron of the theater and do feel it is in need of some TLC, repairs, [and] restoration. Netflix can help cover the cost of these things. I’m sure the programming will continue to be the same. Glad this worked out!” one guest shared on Twitter. Another person stated it was a “sad day” and left negative comments on the organization’s announcement.
The American Cinematheque began cancelling their events at The Egyptian and Aero Theatres on March 12. Since then, an array of new, virtual presentations and content have been released by the organization. Up next is the exclusive screening of the rare 1961 Peter Sellers film “Mr. Topaze”. It will be available starting June 5 for one week online.
On social media, the organization shared the following with their community:
“We can’t wait to get back to in-person events once restrictions are lifted, and have already begun planning new events and programming. Stay tuned for more exciting programming, including the launch of American Cinematheque’s podcast, online virtual screenings and live discussions plus archival Q&As from our last 35 years added weekly.”