A Gallic village in a world dominated by American platforms, Paris nevertheless remains the world capital of cinemas with 400 cinemas, including the largest in the world, the Grand Rex, which is given a new lease of life. On the Grands Boulevards, the hour is in the final brushstrokes on the facade of the listed Art Deco building, modeled on the architecture of the early days of cinema in the United States. The goal: to recapture the look of the 1930s, swapping the flashy red for the original cream and silver mix. and its 2,700 seats. They have all closed”, explains its director, Alexandre Hellmann, impatient to press Thursday, for the inauguration, the button which will relight the imposing rotating sign “Rex”, which will again be the only one to turn in the sky of the capital. See also on Konbini Queues that sometimes form in the early morning, expected attendance down only 10% in 2022 compared to before Covid… The success of the independent juggernaut has plenty to do green with envy of many exhibitors around the world, who fail to bring their audiences back. Especially since it is located a quarter of an hour’s walk from the 27 screens of the UGC Ciné Cité-Les Halles, one of the busiest multiplexes in the world. the cinema, we would close the doors”, agrees Mr. Hellmann, who has played the diversification card to the fullest, with his club, his escape game and above all his concert-events, from Madonna to Bob Dylan. As far as cinema is concerned, the Grand Rex has convinced the public to leave their sofa with “event” screenings, manga previews or film marathons until the end of the night, which allow you to attach loyal fan communities. For glamour, prestigious previews, including the next, that of the last Spielberg, The Fabelmans. Farewell to the Champs-Élysées The Grands-Boulevards room, in the heart of the capital, is also benefiting from the decline of another historic place cinema, the Champs-Élysées. The Marignan will soon lower the curtain there, after the George-V. The famous avenue, surveyed by Belmondo and Jean Seberg in Breathless, was “THE cinema district in Paris, but is disappearing”, in particular because of “a disproportionate cost of land”, analyzes Michel Gomez, the M. Cinema of the town hall of Paris. “It’s hard to see cinemas close, but cinema in Paris is a living fabric”, dependent on private actors, who follow the “sociological and geographical evolution of the city”, he tempers. End of 2022 , Paris still probably has the highest density of cinemas in the world, with 398 screens in 75 cinemas, according to figures provided by the city to AFP. Almost as many as before the pandemic (411 screens in 2019), and 8% more than in the year 2000. Even if the fate of certain small independents, such as Clef or Luminor, remains threatened by real estate speculation , the art and essay network, unique in the world, “resists” globally, underlines Mr. Gomez. This is the case of the famous rooms of the Latin Quarter and their ultra-sharp or heritage offer.La Clef, the last associative cinema in Paris, has turned off its spotlightsPlaces that are a reference even on the other side of the Atlantic, as director Damien Chazelle (La La Land) confides to AFP, passing through Paris where he did his education as a cinephile. “As a high school student, I went to old cinemas in the Latin Quarter to watch retrospectives, screenings of old films from Hollywood, France or Japan. The first time I saw Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was here. You can’t forget that!“ The center of gravity of cinema in Paris could still shift. In 2024, a mega-project entrusted to star architect Renzo Piano by Jérôme Seydoux, boss of Pathé, is due to open near the Opera. On a completely different scale, La Pagode will reopen, a high place in the history of cinephilia, bought by an American patron.
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