Andrea Macias Jimenez

Netflix Partners With American Cinematheque to Restore Egyptian Theatre

Non-profit film organization will still lead curation of movie screenings on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays


Netflix and the American Cinematheque are partnering on a deal to invest in the restoration of the historic, century-old Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, the two groups announced Friday.

TheWrap reported in April 2019 that Netflix was in early talks to buy the Egyptian Theatre from American Cinematheque, and the deal has now closed, though it was reported at the time the deal is part of an effort to restore the cinema and not expand to brick and mortar theater operations.

Netflix will invest in the theater’s renovation and will use the space for events, screenings and premieres during the week, while the non-profit film organization American Cinematheque will continue to curate its movie program on the weekends. The announcement says that the partnership will allow American Cinematheque to expand the scope of its event programming, festivals and educational outreach.

“The Egyptian Theatre is an incredible part of Hollywood history and has been treasured by the Los Angeles film community for nearly a century,” Scott Stuber, head of Netflix Films, said in a statement. “We’re honored to partner with the American Cinematheque to preserve the theater’s storied legacy and continue providing remarkable film experiences for audiences. We look forward to expanding programming at the theater in ways that will benefit both cinema lovers and the community.”

“The American Cinematheque was honored to bring the Egyptian back to life in 1998, and together with Netflix we are thrilled to continue this stewardship by restoring it once again for a new generation of film fans to experience movies on the big screen,” chairman of the American Cinematheque, Rick Nicita, said in a statement. “The Egyptian Theatre remains our Hollywood home and we are grateful to both the City of Los Angeles and the Attorney General of the State of California as we accept this incredible opportunity that will greatly benefit the American Cinematheque.”

“Love for film is inseparable from L.A.’s history and identity,” mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “We are working toward the day when audiences can return to theaters — and this extraordinary partnership will preserve an important piece of our cultural heritage that can be shared for years to come.”

“The Netflix and American Cinematheque partnership at the Egyptian Theater is a win-win for film, historic preservation, and the arts,” councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, Los Angeles City Council 13th District, said in a statement. “The collaboration ensures the cultural destination remains in the Heart of Hollywood for decades to come.”

The Egyptian Theatre is a classic and esteemed movie palace originally built in 1922 during the silent film era. A fixture in Hollywood’s Golden Age, the Egyptian was the site of the first Hollywood movie premiere, of “Robin Hood,” starring Douglas Fairbanks. At the premiere, Fairbanks was joined by Cecil B. DeMille, Charlie Chaplin, Jesse L. Lasky, and Mary Pickford. Other notable silent-era premieres held at the Egyptian include DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments,” Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush” and “Don Juan” (1926) starring John Barrymore and Mary Astor.

American Cinematheque, established in 1984, will continue to operate the Aero in Santa Monica. The city of Los Angeles sold the Egyptian Theatre to the Cinematheque in 1996 and then raised funds to renovate and restore it. It was then restored again in 2016 with the support of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Turner Classic Movies and The Film Foundation to update the projection booth for 35mm nitrate film, making it one of only four theaters in the U.S. capable of showing the rare, ultra fragile and flammable film stock.

Part of the new plans for restoration include upgrading equipment to enhance the audience experience and renovating and restoring the theater.

Netflix had previously formed a similar partnership to save New York’s historic Paris Theatre from closing its doors.
We're not saying this is inspired by recent events that fill us with terror and insomnia, but we are saying that if you happen to relate to that feeling, here's a list of very cathartic movies about virus outbreaks to get you through it. Whether you want realism, fantasy, horror or maybe computer stuff, we have you covered. Feel free to take a personal day and not leave the house while you watch. And, before you ask: This whole gallery could have been nothing but zombie movies, so we decided to limit things to just Zombie movies that make the disease aspect front and center.
"The Seventh Seal" (1957) - If you haven't seen Ingmar Bergman's masterpiece, drop everything and do it now -- if only so you can finally understand the context for half the jokes in "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey." Set during the Black Death plague of the 1300s, the film centers on a knight who encounters the angel of death, and the game of chess they play for his soul.
"The Last Man on Earth" (1964)/"The Omega Man" (1971)/"I Am Legend (2007)" - Richard Matheson's 1954 novel "I Am Legend" inspired three very different adaptations. All they have in common is that a plague wiped out most of humanity and the survivors, save the main character, have been turned into (essentially) vampires. Will Smith's 2007 film kept the title but removed pretty much everything related to the book's big twist. Vincent Price's charming 1964 film preserves the plot best but has the lowest budget. But we're most partial to Charlton Heston's ultra-hammy 1971 film.
"The Andromeda Strain" (1971) - Based on the Michel Crighton novel, the film follows scientists investigating an infectious organism that fell to Earth from space. We'll spoil the ending by telling you they mostly save the day, so relax. Notable for some very innovative cinematography.
"Dawn of the Dead" (1978/2004 remake) - George A. Romero's 1978 classic isn't just a clever satire of consumerism. It's also a look at how the zombie apocalypse functions like a plague. And while Zack Snyder's action-packed remake ditched the satire, it actually expanded the disease element. Both are perfect to watch when you want your global pandemics fictional instead of so IRL you can't sleep.
"Outbreak" (1995) - When a new viral hemorrhagic disease breaks out in a small American town, CDC scientists race against time to stop it from spreading. Unfortunately, they also have to deal with a bloodthirsty Army general who wants the virus for a bioweapon and is determined to prevent a cure. This absurd plot was inspired by a celebrated nonfiction history of viruses like ebola because ah, Hollywood. But at least it's directed by the great Wolfgang Petersen.
"12 Monkeys" (1995) - Terry Gilliam's sci-fi classic stars Bruce Willis as a time traveler sent back to the 1990s to identify the origin of a global pandemic that nearly wiped out humanity. The portrayal of our world just before, and long after, the (near) end of civilization is harrowing. Luckily, the crazed ecoterrorist wannabe played by Brad Pitt provides much needed comic relief.
"Cabin Fever" (2002) - Eli Roth's directorial debut follows a group of recent college graduates who become infected with a flesh eating virus during a camping trip. It was remade in 2016 but neither version makes camping look any more appealing.
"Resident Evil" Series (2002-2017) - The only things you need to know about this multifilm franchise based on the Capcom video games is that an evil corporation creates a virus that turns most of humanity into zombies, Mila Jovovich kicks a lot of ass, and it's a go-to for seriously awesome actors looking for paycheck jobs they don't have to be embarrassed about. It's great.
"28 Days Later" (2003)/"28 Weeks Later" (2007) - In Danny Boyle's excellent 2003 original, and its very superior sequel directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the world is beset by a viral pandemic that turns anyone infected into permanently enraged monsters. Don't call them zombies but, uh, they totally are.
"Carriers" (2009) - In this postapocalyptic drama, four friends who survived a global pandemic road trip to a place they can hopefully live in peace. Spoiler: Things don't really work out. But it has Chris Pine, Emily Van Camp, Christopher Meloni and Piper Perabo, plus Kiernan Shipka in one of her earliest pre-"Mad Men" roles.
"Blindness" (2008) - Based on the Portuguese novel by José Saramago, the film looks at what happens when the world is hit by a pandemic that renders people blind. Worth it for the cast alone, which includes Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Gael García Bernal, Danny Glover and Alice Braga.
"Black Death" (2010) - Sean Bean gets in a warm up session for his career-defining role as Ned Stark here as a leader of a group of knights searching for a heretic during the 14th-century plague. Eddie Redmayne plays a monk who accompanies the knights. Fun fact: Carice van Houten also gets in a "Game of Thrones" warm-up, playing a scheming maybe-maybe-not witch.
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (2011) - The reboot of the 1960s-70s "Planet of the Apes" series is anchored by a truly exceptional mo-cap performance from Andy Serkis as the super-intelligent chimp Caesar. It's in this list because Caesar gets his brainpower from an experimental viral-based Alzheimer's treatment, which unfortunately mutates into a deadly pathogen that kills billions of humans. Whoops.
"Contagion" (2011) - You might recognize this as the Steven Soderbergh film where Gwyneth Paltrow dies horribly from a deadly new virus. It's also a smart thriller about how diseases spread, the difficulty in finding a cure and the way conspiracy theorists and incompetent or malicious authorities can make it worse. Uh, excuse us we need a drink this is too real.
"World War Z" (2013) - If you loved the fictional oral history (written by Max Brooks) of how humanity narrowly survived a zombie apocalypse, you'll kind of like this in-name-only adaptation directed by Marc Forster. Brad Pitt plays a UN worker racing against time to discover the origins of a sudden global zombie pandemic -- who still takes time to make damn sure product placement contracts are fulfilled.
HONORABLE MENTION: "Hackers" (1995) - We saved the absolute best for last. It's not just a surprisingly great '90s artifact about computer geeks fighting an evil corporate techie. With a dope soundtrack. And a cast packed with virtual unknowns who would go on to huge fame and acclaim, including (no, really) Wendell Pierce, Lorraine Bracco, Matthew Lillard, Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie. (Plus the criminally underrated Laurence Mason, and the villain played by Fisher Stevens.) It's also a movie about a virus outbreak. OK, OK, a computer virus. But after all the death you saw in those other movies, "Hackers" is a welcome and much needed fun time. You're in the butter zone now, baby.
20 Virus Outbreak Movies, From 'The Seventh Seal' to 'Contagion' (Photos)
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