Since 1948, the Paris Theatre at 4 West and 58th Street in Manhattan has been a beloved sanctuary for art-lovers and cinephiles, with the iconic cinema specialising in arthouse, foreign language and specialised films. There was disappointment when it shuttered its doors earlier this year, but after a successful temporary re-opening recently, Netflix has stepped in to save the theater for good.
The Paris, which enjoys a reputation as being one of the oldest art houses in the United States and the last single-screen theater in New York, was re-opened this month for a run of the movie Marriage Story. After that, Netflix announced a lease agreement to keep the theater open, much to the delight of the general public. The company plans to use the space for special events, screenings and theatrical releases of its films.
“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, Chief Content Officer with Netflix. “We are incredibly proud to preserve this historic New York Institution so it can continue to be a cinematic home for film lovers.”
Actress Merlene Dietrich cut the ribbon to commemorate the theater’s grand opening back in 1948. It originally showed French titles, with La Symphonie Pastorale running for eight months. It introduced foreign-language films such as Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet and Claude Lelouch’s A Man And A Woman to the American public. The theater closed in August 2019 after a successful run of Ron Howard’s Pavarotti.
It’s not the first time Netflix has considered a move like this, as earlier this year it was reported that the streaming giant was in talks to purchase the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.