Paris is known as the city of romance, so it is no surprise that it also boasts a long tradition of performance and entertainment. Its opulent theatres and magnificent venues are the setting for wonderful cabarets, ballets, operas and more.
No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the world-famous Moulin Rouge. It is home to the renowned cabaret, where the cancan dance was first performed. It is set in the heart of the bohemian district known as Pigalle, at the foot of the hill of Montmartre, and is easily recognised by the red windmill, from which it takes its name. The original building opened in 1889, although it was later destroyed by fire and rebuilt. In 2001, a film of the same name added to its international repute. If you do want to witness the cabaret and soak up the glitz and glamour of this legendary venue you need to book your tickets early, as shows sell out fast.
Palais Garnier – Opera National de Paris
The opulent Palais Garnier is the sumptuous home of the Paris Opera, which puts on ballet and opera performances here throughout the year. The theatre has been in service since 1875 and still embodies the magnificence and luxury of that era. Its elaborate façade features sculptures and gilded decoration, whilst its interior boasts crystal chandeliers, rich velvet and lavish marble. It has a capacity of 1900 and one of the largest stages in Europe, nevertheless, early booking is recommended as performances here sell out quickly.
The Cinémathèque Française
France is known as the home of cinema and this museum and working cinema houses one of the world’s largest collections of cinema and film-related memorabilia in the world. The building itself was designed by the architect Franck Gehry and often hosts temporary exhibitions, showcasing the work of specific directors or national film traditions. Its permanent collection includes rarities such as optical boxes and magic lanterns dating back to the 17th century, film costumes, original publicity posters, items from film sets and related documents. It is a must-see for serious film fans!
Théâtre Edouard VII
This theatre was built in the early 1900s in honour of the English King Edward VII. It still retains its status as a monument to the shared culture and co-operation between the two neighbouring countries: England and France. To this day, its performances are still subtitled in English, which can be a huge bonus for those who don’t speak French. Its repertoire of performances alternates between modern and more classical pieces.
Cinema-lovers must pay a visit to this state-of-the-art, 400-seat cinema. Its Ominmax projector is able to produce an image which is nine times larger than that generated by a regular 35mm projector, and this is displayed on a screen, made up of perforated aluminium panels, which is 1000 square metres large. The building itself is magnificent, with its huge, 36 metre mirrored globe, which reflects the sky, the Cité and the Parc de la Villette. You can also explore the French submarine, which is housed in the same building.