Netflix Reopens 101-year-old Egyptian Theatre
Netflix has reopened the 101-year-old Egyptian Theatre after a three-year renovation and retrofit. The streaming giant will use renovated theatre for premieres and events. Netflix acquired the Egyptian Theatre in 2020 and for the $70 million renovation, it partnered with Cinematheque.
The Egyptian Theatre was once upon a time, site of Hollywood’s first star-studded red carpet premiere – October 18, 1922 Allan Dwan’s epic Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks. Now, Netflix is set to reopen the theatre on November 9 with the screening of The Killer.
Netflix will also release the documentary short film Temple of Film: 100 Years of Egyptian Theatre directed by Angus Wall. It will feature interviews with Guillermo Del Toro, Rian Johnson, Lynette Howell Taylor, Autumn Durald Arkapaw and Peyton Hall – the restoration architect.
The iconic theatre is renowned for its Egyptian Revival architecture and open-air courtyard flanked by towering columns, colorful hieroglyphics, and sphinx statues. Moreover, it is one-of-a-kind venue that is now finally ready for its close-up.
The Egyptian Theatre is a must-visit landmark for cinephiles from around the world. This theatre hosted some of Los Angeles’ most star-studded film premieres Ben-Hur to My Fair Lady, to the Return of the Jedi.
The 1994 earthquake badly damaged the Egyptian Theatre, making it unsuitable for use. It was sold to the American Cinematheque in 1996 as part of the Hollywood Revitalization project. In 1998, the American Cinematheque reopened the iconic theatre, showing Cecil B. DeMille’s THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
It produced and hosted thousands of film events and premieres with state-of-the-art presentation, including in-person tributes, film retrospectives, and advance screenings.
Netflix Renovates Egyptian Theatre
Ted Sarandos, Netflix CEO, described the Egyptian Theatre as one of America’s ‘temples of storytelling’. He said the restoration of the Egyptian Theatre was a way for the leaders of Netflix, who are still relative newcomers in Hollywood history, to show that it loves this history. “It’s important to give back to the industry that’s given so much to us.”
Sarandos added that restoring old movie theatres takes twice as long and costs twice as much as one would expect. “Over the years, everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Audrey Hepburn to Marlon Brando sat in the seats where you’re sitting.”
The renovation restored some of the historic aspects of the theatre – the retro neon sign outside, the jeweled auditorium ceiling, adorned with lotus flowers, ibis and an Egyptian scarab, and the murals and elaborate fountain in the front courtyard. Furthermore, the Egyptian Theatre is one of the five theatres in the United States capable of screening historic movies shot on extremely delicate and flammable nitrate film.