Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Netflix has signed a lease to keep the iconic New York Paris Theater open. According to a press release, it will be used for special events, screenings, and theatrical releases. Considering the pushback by theatres over showing Netflix content, could this be the first of many?

A New York professor said that Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ would win the streaming war because streaming wasn’t all they did. The professor is right. Netflix, to compete needs to diversify. Spending $15 billion a year on content amazingly isn’t enough.

Thinking outside the box

Netflix crushed Blockbuster Video. They’ve probably killed cable TV, too. Netflix doesn’t stop when they hit a wall — they break the wall and then stride onto the next immovable object. They’re now against the biggest corporations in the world. They need to become multi-faceted like their competitors are.

So, at a time when Netflix needs to think outside of the box, there’s a whole host of theatres unwilling to show their content. Theatres should really look at history and work with Netflix, because this could be their undoing.

Theatres are more than movies

Netflix is a content machine. They have intellectual properties out the wazoo and no physical places to sell merchandise.

Just imagine: You’re in New York, near the Paris Theater. Netflix is premiering Beverly Hills Cop 4 and has decked it out in merchandise, dancing Axel Foley’s and other Comic-Con inspired fun.

As a Netflix subscriber, you can book a seat for free. The only catch is that you’ve got to somehow walk-through merchandise and not buy something. It wouldn’t just be Beverly Hills Cop, but Stranger Things et al. The merchandise opportunities are endless, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt gobstoppers. Endless, I tell you.

In about five years, when Netflix is the nation’s biggest theatre company and everyone’s asking them to show their movies, we’ll look back on this in amazement.

Either that, or Disney will have already purchased a controlling stake.