Entertainment streaming giant Netflix has taken over the lease of the iconic New York City movie theater, The Paris, and plans to use it for movie screenings, events and releases, the company said Monday (Nov. 25). The theater closed in August.
“After 71 years, the Paris Theatre has an enduring legacy, and remains the destination for a one-of-a-kind movie-going experience,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer in a press release. “We are incredibly proud to preserve this historic New York institution so it can continue to be a cinematic home for film lovers.”
The theater had its grand opening in 1948, and actress Marlene Dietrich cut the ribbon at the ceremony. The theater originally showed French movies and developed a reputation for showing arthouse movies. The latest movie it showed before Netflix took over was called “Pavarotti,” a film by Ron Howard.
Netflix plans to use the theater for releases and special events, including screenings. Earlier this month, Netflix showed the movie “Marriage Story” at the Manhattan theater, which stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver. The movie is about a couple that’s divorcing, and it’s scheduled for release on Dec. 6. The film is in select theaters in the U.S. and U.K.
Some people in the industry, including famed movie director Steven Spielberg, have spoken out against the inclusion of Netflix in awards ceremonies like the Oscars, arguing that the company only produces TV films. However, Netflix has been producing films that have theatrical releases as well, before they debut on the service.
For example, a movie called “The Two Popes” and another called “I Lost My Body” are both set for theatrical releases.
On Monday (Nov. 25), Wells Fargo downgraded Netflix, saying that it’s going to be “more expensive than investors realize” for the service to continue its growth pace, and find new users. Credit Suisse said that the new service from Disney, called Disney+, had “little to no impact” on Netflix, based on Google searches and app downloads. This year, Netflix stock is up almost 18 percent.