It’s true! The Paris Theatre is back, saved by Netflix to be used for theatrical releases, screenings and special events. It closed at the end of August, eliciting a wave of nostalgia and sadness from New York City theater buffs and those in the film industry. It’s the last few days to catch the first run of Marriage Story, the critically acclaimed film from Netflix starring Scarlett Johannssen, Adam Driver, and Laura Dern.
On Monday, Netflix announced the lease agreement to “keep the theater open and save the beloved institution,” according to a press release from the streaming giant. Netflix took some significant steps into the physical cinema space this year with the opening of The Irishman and Marriage Story. According to Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, “After 71 years, the Paris Theatre has an enduring legacy, and remains the destination for a one-of-a kind movie-going experience. We are incredibly proud to preserve this historic New York institution so it can continue to be a cinematic home for film lovers.”
We attended the 7 PM showing of Marriage Story last night, and it seemed like the staff was truly excited to be back inside the Paris Theatre. The lighting and sound (Dolby digital surround) really set the mood for the film (which was was truly an emotional piece). The mezzanine level makes it feel more like a real theater rather than movie theater, offering a nice old-school touch.
The Paris Theatre opened in 1948 by French film company, Pathé Cinema. Marlene Dietrich cut the inaugural ribbon on its opening night. The theater contains 581 seats and often showed art films as well as international films in their original language. It was one of the first theaters to show the 2011 French romantic comedy The Artist, which went on to win Best Picture at the 84th Academy Awards. Other films that have shown there include Call Me By Your Name, A Room With a View, Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, and The Remains of the Day. When it closed after showing Ron Howard’s Pavarotti, it was the last remaining single screen movie theater showing first run films in New York City. You can get tickets to Marriage Story at the Paris Theatre until Thursday at www.marriagestorymovie.com.
Next, check out 5 recently closed movie theaters in NYC.