The Grand Rex Paris to Add More Screens?
PARIS, FRANCE — The huge capacity of the Grand Rex, a big atmospheric movie theatre with 2800 seats, and the evolution of the movie theater business in Paris (which is shifting to megaplexes) has convinced the owner of Grand Rex to think about the future and consider increasing the number of screens at the Rex (which has six screens in addition to its main screen — four next door and 2 underground).
A new project would add another 12 screens — with stadium seating, large glass corridors, and a lift driving patrons on the top of the building which has a terrace with a view — while preserving the original architecture of the landmarked building.
For the past two years, work on the project has been held up by a local district association, which is concerned about additional parking and traffic created by the project. The holdup is a major problem because it could threaten the future of the building as a cinema, unfortunately. (The Rex has been a landmark since 1980).
The Grand Rex is located in a district which was the equivalent of the West End in London. But the Grands Boulevards neighborhood, after going through a bad period (with theaters closing and lots of drug dealing — much like Times Square during the late 80s), is doing a kind of revival and this project is part of it.
I do hope the Grand Rex has a better future because I was a member of the association that asked to landmark this wonderful place.