Over the summer, the Paris Theater, the last single screen movie theater in Manhattan, was closed after its lease ended. But in October, Netflix swooped in to re-open it for screenings of Noah Baumbach’s new film Marriage Story. Clearly that experiment went well, because Netflix announced today that they had come to a lease agreement to keep the theater open. It will now be used 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, 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 elegant 581-seat venue, located on 58th Street and Fifth Avenue, first opened on September 13th, 1948; Marlene Dietrich cut the ribbon for the opening event. It originally specialized in showing French movies. It was one of the oldest art-house theaters in the entire country, and was known for being one of the few remaining theaters in the city showing first-run arthouse and foreign films. It also has a balcony.
It seems like a good deal for everyone all-around: Netflix gets to save a beloved NYC artistic institution, and they finally find their own theater to launch their movies. As Netflix has increasingly tried to woo top directorial and acting talent to its studio, they've run into some problems because theatrical runs are a prerequisite to compete for awards. Many major theater chains have declined to play Netflix productions because they say brief showings in a theater prior to the film being available on streaming platforms is not long enough to make it worth their while.
The terms of the deal have not been announced, so it's unclear at this time how frequently they will be showing films at the theater. But Marriage Story will continue playing there for now, and you can get ticket information here.