140 Boulevard de Clichy,
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This is a story of four seperate cinemas which are now combined into one!
On the site of 140-142 Boulevard de Clichy in 1810 was a coaching inn known as the Cafe Wepler. In 1955, it was purchased by Pathe and was demolished. The 1,700-seat Pathe Wepler Cinema was opened after 10 months building work. It was built as a modern rival to the great 6,420-seat Gaumont Palace, just a few yards away. The cinema boasted the largest safety-glass facade in the world, measuring 13 metres x 12, and weighed 12 tons. Seating was provided on three levels, in orchestra, mezzanine and grand circle.
In September 1969, the Pathe Wepler was twinned, with 1,100 seats in the upper part, using the mezzanine and grand circle levels. A 480 seat luxury cinema named Caravelle (after the aircraft) was created in the lower part of the building. In the Caravelle auditorium, patrons could smoke and drink while watching the film, making for a party atmosphere in the space, which was decorated like a garden.
In May 1989, the former Images Cinema at 132 Boulevard de Clichy was taken over by the Pathe Wepler, adding a further four screens which seat 355, 170, 100 and 85. Today, the entrance foyer of the former Images Cinema is now in use as a video arcade.
In the Wepler building, screen 1 has a total of 1,071 seats, of which 400 are in the grand circle level. It has a 11 metre wide screen and is equipped with 70mm projection equipment and Dolby sound. Screen 2 on the ground level now seats 445 and has a 10 metre wide screen and is also equipped with 70mm projection equipment and has Dolby sound. It retains its ‘garden’ atmosphere.
In 1994, the Pathe Wepler was expanded to the plans of architect P. Muyle, by the addition of another six screens that had originally been the Pathe Clichy, located in the rear at 7-8 Avenue de Clichy. This originally opened as the Select Cinema prior to World War I at 8 Avenue de Clichy in the 17th Area of Paris. It was taken over by Pathe in 1930, and retained its single 1,200 seat auditorium until 1971 when it was tripled, with two screens in the former orchestra and a larger screen in the former balcony.
At 7 Avenue de Clicy in the 18th Area of Paris was the Mirages Cinema, a former cabaret where Maurice Chevalier had performed, which became a cinema in 1932. It was purchased by Pathe in 1973 who created two more auditoriums in the building, as well as retaining the former caberet space. It was gutted internally in 1991, and three new ‘space-age’ auditoriums were created.
Today, the former Pathe Clichy building seats 490 in the upper screen and 200 and 210 in the lower screens. The former Mirages Cinema building has screens seating 430, 135 and 100.
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