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Paris Cinema

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In 1895 Auguste and Louis Lumiere, brothers born respectively in 1862 and 1864, held the first public screening of a motion picture in Paris, France.

Parisians are still passionate about film and the city offers a wide variety of theatres, from art-house cinema to the grand multi-plex.

To get info on current showings around town, pick up a copy of Pariscope at any newsstand (a supremely informative weekly guide which comes out every Wednesday) or go to www.pariscope.fr Don your scarf and beret and head for the movies, one of many art forms deeply appreciated and richly represented by the French.

LA CINEMATHEQUE FRANCAISE
51 Rue de Bercy
12th Arrondisement
Metro: Bercy
Closed Tuesdays
www.cinematheque.fr

Martin Scorcese calls the Cinemateque Francaise, “the film director’s spiritual home”. It strives to preserve film history, and is as much a museum, as it is, a place to screen films. The archive collection contains around 40,000 films, making it one of the richest resources in the world for researchers, students and the film afficianado. The museum collection contains objects from early film technology and traces its evolution from the most primitive devices employed in the 19th century.
There are three screening rooms, the largest of which is the Hall Henry Langlois, with 415 seats. In this theatre, silent films from the early days, can be accompanied by a live orchestra.
There are exhibitions, lectures and workshops, plus, a collection of costumes, set pieces and objects of major importance pertaining to film history. Costumes worn by silent film actress, Louise Brooks, and star of Gone With the Wind, Vivien Leigh are among the treasures in this collection, along with the set from the groundbreaking silent film of 1920 called The Cabinet of Dr. Calligari.

This multi-functional organization devoted to the art of cinema is housed in an appropriately prestigious space. The building itself was designed by architect Frank Gehry and inaugurated in 2005.

Enjoy the entertainment, the space, the history lesson and feel the love for cinema, deeply rooted in French culture.

LE GRAND REX
1 Boulevard Poissoniere
2nd Arrondisement
Metro: Bonne Nouvelle
www.legrandrex.com
Regularly Scheduled Tours

Le Grand Rex lives up to its name. It is indeed, grand, a temple built to worship the art of cinema.
On the wintry evening of December 8th, 1932, a well-heeled crowd of 3,300 invitees attended the gala opening of this magnificent art-deco theatre. The main salon seats 2,650 people on three levels and also hosts concerts and Christmastime extravaganzas. There are also smaller screening rooms and one can take a 50-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the theatre, Wednesday through Sunday from 10am until 9pm. In 1981 the Minister of Culture declared Le Grand Rex an historic monument, insuring its preservation for present and future generations of film lovers.

MK2 BIBLIOTHEQUE
128-62 Avenue de France
13th Arrondisement
Metro: Quai de la Gare or Bibliotheque
www.mk2.com/bibliotheque

The stylish, modern 14-screen mega-complex is part of the MK2 chain. You can come for a drink or eat in one of its cafes, browse around the shops and enjoy a film. And get this. In every row, there is a two-person love seat. Why should that surprise, given that the French seem to be the innovators of everything romantic.

Le CHAMPOLLION (Le Champo)
51 Rue des Ecoles
5th Arrondisement
Metro: Odeon-Saint-Michel
www.lechampo.com

In the neighborhoods of the 5th and 6th arrondisements, art house cinemas abound. Le Campo is one of the most revered. The doors first opened at 6pm on June 22nd, 1938 and loyal patrons still cross its portal to enjoy the wide variety of cinematic offerings. Le Campo hosts seasonal retrospectives and boasts the only periscope projection system in Europe, as the projection room sits below the level of the screen. Home to premiere nights for the likes of beloved French director, Jacques Tati (1907-1982), Le Campo draws a devoted crowd.

LA PAGODE
57 bis Rue de Babylone
7th Arrondisement
Metro: St-Francois Xavier

Japanese pagoda, tea room, garden and cinema all rolled up into one delightful, eccentric movie-going experience. Who cares what’s playing! It’s an historic monument and trip to the Orient in the super arty and chic 7th.

FORUM DES IMAGES
Forum des Halles
1st Arrondisement
Metro: Chatelet-Les Halles
www.forumdesimages.net

Check the website for screenings and festivals and take advantage of the great library of films accessible to the public. How about a screen of your own for a look at the very first French films shown in public, made by the Lumiere brothers? Anything on film having to do with Paris can be found in these archives, which has a database of over 6,000 items.

CENTRE GEORGES POMPIDOU CINEMAS
Place Georges Pompidou
4th Arrondisement
Metro: Rambuteau
www.centrepompidou.fr

After an exhaustive tour of the National Museum of Modern Art, housed in the Pompidou Centre, it might be a welcome relief to relax by taking in a movie. This cinema is known for its tributes to revered directors such as Jean-Luc-Goddard and Martin Scorsese and features retrospectives and film festivals. The Centre Pompidou is a heavy duty bustling, modern art magnet.

STUDIO 28
10 Rue Tholoze
18th Arrondisement
Metro: Abbesses
www.cinemastudio28.com

This is the oldest cinema in Paris, located in the heart of Monmartre. It first opened its doors in 1928 and was the artistic meeting ground of such film pioneers as Luis Bunuel and Jean Cocteau. The screenings range from newly released films to classics and there are regularly scheduled talks featuring actors and directors. It’s a funky, fun place to watch a movie and if it looks slightly familiar, check out Amelie, starring Audrey Tatou. This was the theatre she was filmed in.

CINEMA EN PLEIN AIR
Parc de la Villette
19th Arrondisement
Metro: Porte de Pantin
www.villette.com
Closed Mondays

On warm summer nights in July and August the great lawn in the park is the site of free film screenings. The feature begins at 10pm. Bring a picnic dinner and a blanket, or rent a chair. It’s an open-air film festival with a theme and everyone seems to be having a really good time.



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