Netflix has purchased one of the most historic locations for American cinema. Considered a Los Angeles Historic Treasure, it was announced that the American Cinematique Organization sold the Egyptian Theatre to the Netflix Company. This prompted an immediate response from directors in the industry, informing the ACO to sell under the condition that Netflix doesn’t alter the historical programming commonly shown at the Egyptian Theatre. It was 1st revealed that negotiations had begun in 2018, with the involvement of directors postponing the agreement until 2020. This led analysts to speculate that Netflix struggled at the concept of purchasing the Egyptian, while also maintaining original programming.

The History

The Los Angeles Film Industry is culturally remembered at the Egyptian Theatre. It’s closed once in its lifetime, which began in December 1922. The prowess of this cinema enabled it to remain open during World War II and Vietnam, with its closing only once in 1992. Their doors wouldn’t reopen to the public until 1996, which is when the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency took over ownership. It cost them $1.00 to obtain property, with the Egyptian Theatre being awarded to the LACRA by Rick Nicita. Those permitted to attend this cinema can sit down in one of 616 auditorium seats. There’s also an additional screening room for exclusive members, with it being named the Spielberg Screening Room. It can seat seventy-eight cinematics.

Sid Grauman designed the Egyptian Theatre, with this architect being considered one of the most influential in the 1920s. He’s credited with developing some of the first cinemas in the United States, with his designs being reflected for decades after his death. His unique designs allowed for the first premiere at the Egyptian to be “The Ten Commandments” from Cecil B. DeMille in 1923. That film has been reshown every year since the Egyptian Theatre began a designated historical location.

The Cost

The deal is suspected of having cost Netflix $20 Million or more to obtain ownership of the Egyptian Theatre. PR Representatives with the streaming service guaranteed that the preservation of classic cinema will continue being maintained under their ownership. It should be noted that this acquisition enables Netflix to hold a piece of cinema history, where their critically acclaimed films can be inducted into the Egyptian’s preservation. Productions with remarkable stories, directing styles, and visuals will most likely be showcased 1st at the Egyptian moving forward.