Netflix acquires theatre venue to bring content experience to life

Netflix has acquired New York's iconic The Paris Theatre after it shuttered in August this year. The company aims to use the theater for special events, screenings, and theatrical releases of its films. The theatre is one of the oldest art houses in the United States, and the last single-screen theater in New York. According to Netflix, through its lease agreement, the theater will be kept open.

The Paris became a symbol of prestige cinema, known for showcasing specialised films, and can be credited with introducing renowned foreign language films to an American audience. These include Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, which ran for almost an entire year from 1968-1969; Claude Lelouch’s A Man And A Woman; and Marcello Mastroianni’s comedy Divorce Italian Style, which played for over a year.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer said after 71 years, the Paris Theatre has an enduring legacy, and remains the destination for a one-of-a kind movie-going experience. “We are incredibly proud to preserve this historic New York institution so it can continue to be a cinematic home for film lovers,” he added.

Netflix first started investing in originals in 2012, and has been expanding aggressively ever since. Across programming categories and countries with an ambition to “share stories from the world to the world”, the video streaming company puts out original content in various languages.

To date, Netflix has globally released 100 seasons of local language, original scripted series from 17 countries and have plans for over 130 more in 2020. In its third quarter financials, Netflix said it plans to expand its investment in local language original films and unscripted series moving forward.

This comes shortly before Netflix formed a multi-year output deal with television network Nickelodeon, which allows Nickelodeon to produce original animated feature films and television series based both on its library of characters as well as all-new IP for kids and families around the world. In line with this announcement, The New York Times reported that a SpongeBob Squarepants spinoff is potentially making its way to Netflix. According to The New York Times' sources, the value of the deal was over US$200 million and involves a “music-based project” specifically focused on the Squidward character in the TV series.