Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
There’s no other place on earth where cinema is more important than it is in Paris. Paris is a city for movie-goers. So when in Paris, do as the Parisians do and go to the movies. There are some amazing theatres you shouldn’t miss. The most spectacular is the Grand Rex, Paris’ oldest and still biggest picture house.
Photo: © AFP, Jean-Pierre Muller
Believe me, the Grand Rex is a true experience. Opened on 8th of December 1932 with “The Three Musketeers” as the biggest movie theatre in Europe, you can still feel a little of the faded grandeur of the old days. The main auditorium with its Moroccan style features, a starry sky, red velvet seats and interior fountains looks like a film set in itself. Imagine a very plush baroque-style and don’t be surprised if Douglas Fairbanks walks around the corner.
The building too is remarkable. Situated on Boulevard Poissonière and designed by Auguste Bluysen, it is today a landmark of Art Deco style architecture and has been listed as historic monument since 1982. The owner was Jacques Haik, a wealthy film producer, who introduced Charlie Chaplin to France.
In the seventies, three screens were added in the space of the former basement ballroom. Later another building was bought and transformed. Today the Grand Rex has seven screens all leaning towards blockbusters. Most of the films are shown, alas, in their French versions. Watch out for the “VO” symbol, standing for “version original”, to catch a film with French subtitles and make sure it’s shown in “salle 1” on the big screen called “grand large”
If you want to have a look behind the scenes, you can go for “Les Etoiles du Rex”, a “self conducted” audio tour that takes you behind the screens and explains the history of this place.Le Grand Rex