Paris Theatre

4 W. 58th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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12-10-11 daytime

The first of the post-war movie houses constructed in Manhattan, the Paris Theatre is directly across from the Plaza Hotel and not much further from the beginning of Central Park.

The Paris Theatre opened on September 13, 1948, with Marlene Dietrich cutting the ribbon in the presence of the Ambassador to France. The original movie operator, Pathe, ran the theatre until August 31, 1990. Loews took over on September 1, 1990, and the theatre was known for a while as the Loews Fine Arts Theatre. Loews ceased operation of the theatre on April 30, 1997. Reverting back to its original Paris Theatre name, the theatre was operated by the owner until 2009, when City Cinemas became the movie operator.

This luxurious art house in Manhattan’s Midtown has an Art Moderne exterior. The auditorium has blue velvet walls and seating for 421 on the main floor and in the 150 in the balcony. It has excellent projection and sound. The atmosphere is elegant, including with well attired and helpful staff.

The Paris Theatre is one of the very best places to see art house films in New York. As its name implies, the Paris has an affinity for playing foreign films (especially French films). Many premieres have been hosted by the Paris Theatre.

The Paris Theatre was closed with the movie “Pavarotti” on August 27, 2019. City Cinemas also closed their Beekman Theatre on the same date. Netflix will lease the Paris Theatre from November 6, 2019 to screen their movie “Marriage Story” starring Scarlett Johansson.

Contributed by Ross Melnick, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 323 comments)

Astyanax
Astyanax on November 8, 2019 at 10:16 am

Pleasantly surprised to see the venerated Paris logo in today’s NYT print ad. Does this bode well for the venue’s future.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on November 9, 2019 at 3:09 pm

Hello-

I thing how much Netflix would be willing to spend on 1 film is different from whichever studio. studios have many ways to make $$$ off 1 film but Netflix only has the monthly subscriber fees. I doubt they’d have okayed the $350 budget for Endgame.

UsherDNA
UsherDNA on November 9, 2019 at 11:12 pm

It’s (99%) official, the Paris is being saved and will be owned (or managed by, to be more accurate, I think) and programmed by Netflix for the long term! I just came from a Saturday 7:00pm screening of Marriage Story and Noah Baumbach introduced the film with very specific and positive and deliberate wording about saving the theater and reopenings. I also “confirmed” with an employee there after the show and he corroborated that the Paris has new life! Very happy!

UsherDNA
UsherDNA on November 10, 2019 at 4:30 am

What I suspect to be the case based on my visit, hearing what Mr. Baumbach had to say, relatively meaty inquiries and logical speculation: Not sure how exactly Sheldon Solow came to an agreement with Netflix, but looks fruitful. Found out from a worker I met post screening who will remain nameless that there were Indeed.com job postings for a few weeks prior to opening posted up by Bow Tie Cinemas to staff the Paris. It will be a 7 day a week operation and programming will almost certainly be exclusively Netflix Oscar-bait features and probably some Netflix Original Content specialty screenings for the foreseeable future. The staff are presented as unconnected to any other cinema outfit, just Paris Theatre staff. I think Netflix is being leased the space, is completely in charge of programming and is “co-managing” from behind the scenes while Bow Tie Cinemas (through some kind of interesting partnership it looks like) is also “co-managing” a little closer to the public eye and directly in charge of staffing and on-the-premises needs… Although I don’t think the connection to Bow Tie Cinemas will be explicitly advertised, at least while things are still being sorted out. Hoping things get clearer as this initial run winds down in a few weeks!

UsherDNA
UsherDNA on November 10, 2019 at 4:35 am

Other/final notes:

-Seemingly no more assigned seating, only GA. -Some damage to the top of the auditorium that I hadn’t noticed before, was told by worker that there will be some renovations happening at some point, most especially making the theater and downstairs area more accessible. -Felt absolutely refreshing seeing SUCH A LONG LINE for the screening. Combined with all the news I just posted above, was a very joyful time to be a cinemagoer!

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on November 10, 2019 at 5:08 pm

Hello-

its nice that its 99% certain the Paris has a new lease on life but. if I understand the news item correctly the theater will only play Netflix films?

UsherDNA
UsherDNA on November 10, 2019 at 7:34 pm

Hey Joe, yes, it does look like Netflix will have a tight grip on what is programmed there, so I wouldn’t expect the theater’s fare to deviate too much from Netflix films or other kinds of Netflix original content, if it does indeed deviate at all.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on November 11, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Hello-

thanks to UsherDNA for their reply. it prompts another question. I only joined Netflix recently but from the critics reviews of the original films that they stream most don’t hack it. so how many films like “Marriage Story” or “Roma” can they possibly have up their sleeve?

UsherDNA
UsherDNA on November 12, 2019 at 3:08 am

Hey Joe, that is an absolutely valid question to ask! I’m certain that not every film that Netflix pumps out will be Irishman or Marriage Story caliber, but they do have a wealth of other films, enough perhaps to offset and ward off any dry spells for programming, if they do indeed decide on keeping programming Netflix exclusive.

If I were in charge of programming the theater and employed by Netflix, I’d primarily program the biggest and highest quality Netflix releases front and center, with a mix of middle tier content during the time in between those releases. I’d also program for premieres for the bigger shows and their new seasons (like Stranger Things) and perhaps program some short marathons. If Netflix is around and managing for long enough, there’s no reason that there couldn’t be some retrospective runs on past Netflix hits (like programming The Irishman 10 years from now or something) to further maintain an active slate and conveyor belt of programming. Lastly, I wouldn’t close the door on theater rentals for third party screenings and retrospectives. I hope that the actual programming will follow this somewhat, but if it doesn’t, I’d be interested in seeing what the eventual programming is!

SethLewis
SethLewis on November 12, 2019 at 4:30 am

When They See Us…The Crown are some Netflix pieces that might fit neatly into retrospective theatre showings particularly if they could build in some Q&A’s with content creators

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