Netflix’s Multi-Million Dollar Renovation of Egyptian Theatre Nears Completion
① Netflix, the Nemesis of Movie Theaters, Acquires a Cinema
Netflix, the United States’ foremost global multimedia entertainment Over-The-Top (OTT) company, has experienced significant gains during the COVID-19 pandemic as the streaming industry thrived due to the outbreak. In 2020, its stock soared to new heights, surpassing Walt Disney Company’s market capitalization in March of the same year.
Reed Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix, announced plans to increase the content production budget to compete with other OTT services like Disney+ and Apple TV+. Netflix’s robust content library has positioned it as the leader in the OTT sector.
Interestingly, Netflix has ventured into the traditional theater industry, which once regarded streaming services like Netflix as a significant threat to its audience base. However, starting last year, some Netflix films became available for screening at domestic theaters like CGV in South Korea.
However, in recent years, Netflix has been screening some of its films in Korean theaters, including titles like White Noise, Bardo, False Chronicles of a Handful of Truths, and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.
The experience of watching a movie in a theater differs significantly from streaming on devices such as smartphones. Theaters offer larger screens, lack pause buttons, and provide superior sound quality, creating an unparalleled immersive experience.
In 2020, Netflix made headlines by acquiring the Paris Theatre in Manhattan and later the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, demonstrating its commitment to streaming and traditional cinematic experiences.
② The Egyptian Theatre Reopens in 2023
Recently, The Guardian reported that Netflix, after investing $70 million in the complete renovation of the century-old Egyptian Theatre, is on the brink of reopening this iconic venue.
Following extensive renovations, the Egyptian Theatre, acquired by Netflix in 2020, is set to host premieres of major films and special events.
Established in 1922 in Hollywood, the Egyptian Theatre has historically been a cultural heritage site in Los Angeles since 1993.
During its heyday, the Egyptian Theatre symbolized Hollywood’s golden era, hosting premieres of iconic films like Ben-Hur and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
During the reopening ceremony, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos expressed, “The restoration of the Egyptian Theatre signifies Netflix, a newcomer in Hollywood, cherishing the history of this place.” He referred to the Egyptian Theatre as a sacred ground for storytelling and highlighted that legendary figures like Charlie Chaplin, Audrey Hepburn, and Marlon Brando once graced its seats.
③ The First Screening at the Egyptian Theatre
For its inaugural screening at the Egyptian Theatre, Netflix has chosen The Killer, a film directed by David Fincher and starring Michael Fassbender. The Killer uses sound in a way only a theater can fully appreciate, offering a tense and immersive experience.
Even though it’s a Netflix film, movie theaters provide the only setting where viewers can fully experience the chilling suspense of The Killer.
In addition to The Killer, Netflix recently featured Maestro, directed, co-written, and starring Bradley Cooper. The film delves into the life and marriage of Leonard Bernstein, an American composer and pianist. Maestro is set to premiere in South Korea on December 6th, 2023.
As Netflix continues to explore diverse avenues for captivating audiences, it promises exciting developments for the future of entertainment.
By. Kim Min Jae