Is Netflix Buying Hollywood’s Historic Grauman’s Egyptian Theater?
Video streaming powerhouse, Netflix, is in talks to buy one of the most iconic cinema institutions, Grauman’s Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. The theater is currently owned by American Cinematheque, a non-profit that owns two theaters in Los Angeles.
According to several sources, Netflix isn’t interested to become a major player in the exhibition industry, and purchasing the venue will be to host industry screenings and premieres. If the deal is done, it is expected that Netflix will present its programming midweek, and American Cinematheque will continue screening on weekends.
The theater was built back in 1922 by Sid Grauman to host the first ever movie premiere, which was a screening of Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks. The iconic venue happened to host the premiere of Netflix’s “Roma”, the movie that sparked a lot of controversy among the cinema community. The movie won the “Best Foreign Film” award in the Oscars, two more academy awards, and was nominated for the best picture!
This was problematic for the conservative cinema community that wants to preserve the traditions of movies being screened in theaters first before going online.
The iconic theater cost $800,000 and took 18 months to be constructed! It was sold by the city of Los Angeles to American Cinematheque in 1996, that raised $12.8 million for renovation and reopened it back in 1998.