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Netflix Saves New York’s Paris Theatre With New Lease Agreement

Netflix will keep the iconic, single-screen arthouse open to present its own movies.

Exterior of the Paris Theater during the premiere of 'Remember Me' on Monday, March 1, 2010 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

The Paris Theatre, New York City

AP/Evan Agostini

A Manhattan institution for seven decades, the Paris Theatre has been rescued from shuttering by Netflix, which has announced a lease agreement to keep the single-screen arthouse open. Netflix previously reopened the Paris on November 6 to screen its awards contender “Marriage Story” before it arrives on the streaming platform December 6. While the terms of the lease were not disclosed, the company plans to use the theater for special events, screenings, and theatrical releases of its films — making sure they have eligibility for awards consideration.

“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. “We are incredibly proud to preserve this historic New York institution so it can continue to be a cinematic home for film lovers.”

The Paris Theatre has been a Manhattan mainstay since 1948, when Marlene Dietrich cut the ribbon to commemorate its opening. The theater originally began showing French titles, and then became a beacon of specialty films, appealing to New York’s upper middle class with foreign-language and independent titles. The movie palace shut down in June, and the last movie to run at the venue before “Marriage Story” was Ron Howard’s “Pavarotti.” The theater is located at W 58th Street and Fifth Avenue, at the southeast end of Central Park, and close to the Directors Guild of America’s New York theater location.

Netflix’s stake at the Paris is yet another move by the company to bolster its exhibition profile, as the company is also currently in talks to acquire the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, another repertory and specialized movie mecca in a historical building. That means that Netflix now has a home base for presenting its streaming titles on both sides of the country.

Netflix’s “The Irishman” is currently playing the Egyptian before its streaming bow on November 27. Sources have said that “The Irishman” could make its way to the Paris Theatre as well. Right now, Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour epic is still selling out shows in New York and Los Angeles. Currently, “Marriage Story” is playing in Los Angeles at another historic movie house, the Vista Theatre.

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