Capital of food and fashion, city of lights and love, Paris is also the city of theatres – some no bigger than a closet, others dating as far back as the 17th century. But Paris hasn’t stayed stuck in the past, and the diversity of the shows on offer are testament to that. Explore arthouse cinemas for some movie magic.
Sited in Montmartre, this cinema of 170 seats is a pocket of French history. First opened in 1928, it has been helmed by some of the industry’s key figures like director Jean Cocteau. As well as screening classic and independent films like Luis Buñuel’s banned 1930 Golden Age and Charlie Chaplin’s first films, there is also a charming tea room with a small outdoor area. A cornerstone of the neighbourhood, Studio 28 even featured in the hit film Amelie.
Formerly Le Desperado, this independent cinema screens classic films as well as experimental works. Ecoles 21 is actually owned by award-winning French actress Isabelle Huppert and her son. Set inside an old bookshop and travel agency, it first opened in 1977 and has been a top spot for those in the know. The family also owns the Christine 21, another arthouse cinema.
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Inaugurated in 1938 in a former bookshop, Le Champo was a popular haunt for film directors like Claude Chabrol and François Truffaut. A listed Art Deco building, it’s one of the most charming cinemas still in operation. French and international classics, as well as art house films are screened daily. Once a month there is a film marathon from midnight till 7am.
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