Under new Netflix management, historic Paris Theater will reopen next month

Posted On Wed, July 21, 2021 By

Posted On Wed, July 21, 2021 By In Central Park South, Events, Midtown

All photos by The Brinsons

Midtown’s Paris Theater is New York City’s longest-running arthouse cinema and only remaining single-screen movie theater. On August 6th, the historic theater on 58th Street will hold its grand re-opening following a renovation that added new carpeting, drapes, and a marquee. After opening in 1948, the 571-seat theater closed in 2019 when its lease expired. But later that same year, Netflix announced that it reached a lease agreement to preserve the landmark and keep it open for “special events, screenings, and theatrical releases of its films.”

As 6sqft previously explained, “When the Paris Theatre first opened in 1948, right across from the Plaza Hotel, actress Marlene Dietrich was there to cut the inaugural ribbon. The 581-seat theatre was known for showing foreign language, especially French, films, and in later years, indie films as well.”

The building that houses the Paris is owned by developer Sheldon Solow, who is currently developing an adjacent 19-story condo at 7 West 57th Street. It’s not clear what the terms of Netflix’s long-term lease deal are, but a press release explains that the streaming company “looks forward to reopening with a full slate of screenings and live events, including premiere engagements of new films, repertory screenings, filmmaker series, retrospectives, discussions programs, an exclusive sneak-preview club, and more.” This programming will include both Netflix films with theatrical runs and non-Netflix titles.

Netflix kicked off their Paris Theater venture in November 2019 with a screening of their film Marriage Story. They have yet to release the lineup of titles that will be shown when they reopen.

Just this week, Netflix also purchased LA’s historic Egyptian Theatre, which famously hosted Hollywood’s first-ever movie premier, a screening of Robin Hood in 1922. Though Netflix is doing its part to preserve these historic theaters, the move is also beneficial to their business model. To qualify for an Oscar nomination, a film must have a theatrical release. Netflix’s standard is to have films play in the theater for a month before moving to the streaming platform. However, major movie theater chains require films to play for longer than 30 days.


All photos by The Brinsons

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