28 Boulevard des Capucines,
Paris 75009

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Located close to the Paris Opera House. This building has a special historic interest for cinema buffs, as it was here in the hall of the ‘Grand Cafe’ of the Olympia, where on 22nd March 1896, the Lumiere brothers gave the first public performance of the Lumiere Cinematograph.

Originally opened in 1889 as the Montagnes Russes, a cabaret room operated by Joseph Oller, the owner of the famous Moulin Rouge. It was re-named Olympia in 1893.

In 1928, it was converted into a full time cinema, becoming the Cine-Olympia with seating provided for 2,000. In 1930 it was equipped with a Cavaille-Coll 2Manual 11Ranks theatre organ, and Gilbert George and Leo Stin were two organists who played the instrument. Cinema use continued until 1944, when it converted back to music hall use. Edith Piaf gave many performances at the Olympia from January 1955 until October 1962.

Today, it is in use as a concert venue, featuring top name stars from around the world.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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