Netflix wants to enter Hollywood, and through the front door. That of the Egyptian theater of Grauman. Since April the Californian company has been negotiating the purchase of this famous cinema, located on Hollywood Boulevard. According to the sources of Los Angeles Times sales of tens of millions of dollars should be recorded in the near future. But this announcement is not unanimous in the angel city.
With its facade and courtyard in the style of ancient Egypt, the Egyptian theater is one of the most famous sights of Hollywood Boulevard. Film lovers and professionals from the film industry have been watching films since 1922. The hall, classified as a historical and cultural monument in Los Angeles, was sold by the city in 1996 for a symbolic dollar to the American Cinematheque, a non-profit association. Last April, the announcement of negotiations with Netflix caused a cold among the regulars of the hall.
However, sources close to Netflix and the American Cinematheque cited by the Los Angeles Times are meant to be reassuring. They say the sale would be beneficial for both the future of the room and the regulars. The association assured its members that weekend programming will continue to be managed. Cinema classics, rare and independent films will always be on the agenda.
From a non-profit organization to a commercial enterprise
The purchase by Netflix could even make it possible to better finance the programming of the American Cinematheque, which must also carry out an essential renovation of the room. "Members should be happy," Rick Nicita, the president of the association, told the American newspaper. It means more opportunities, more events and more good things in a renovated room. "
But the Los Angeles film community is not hiding her concerns about the California giant coming to this iconic Hollywood movie location. A petition was launched by two directors of travel agencies, Richard Schave and Kim Cooper. They ask for more transparency in the contract and ask the city to weigh all its weight.
Critics of the deal fear that this place run by a non-profit will be in the hands of a company like Netflix. What would happen if Netflix decided to sell the cinema or worse?
Show your goodwill to the film industry
However, such a possibility seems unlikely when we know the importance of this option for Netflix. Such a purchase would be a major advance in the strategy of the Los Gatos giant. Although considered a troublemaker in the film world, offering funding to the film library would allow her to show his good will to American filmmakers and be better accepted by cinema professionals.
Major film channels, such as AMC Theaters, have recently refused the screening of films produced by Netflix. Before publishing movies on its online platform, the California company allows a much shorter broadcast period than the usual 90 days. His film Roma, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, was rejected by many broadcasters when he received three Oscars last year.
The intentions of the company led by Reed Hastings, who did not want to communicate before the end of the negotiations, are still unclear. But in all likelihood, Netflix should use the room on weekday evenings to air its films or organize previews. The company has invested billions of dollars in its productions, the poster of the cinema should work for a while.