Publicis Matignon

Rond-point des Champs-Elysees et Rue Jean Mermoz,
Paris 75008

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The Publicis Matignon was opened on 25th November 1970 with Melina Mercouri in “The Promise of Dawn”. From 1988 it was operated by the Gaumont France chain. It was closed on 30th July 1999.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

SethLewis
SethLewis on March 27, 2021 at 4:28 pm

A nicely designed modern cinema that was simply too far off the Champs-Elysees to have an impact. Used mostly for industry screenings after a certain time.

rivest266
rivest266 on March 27, 2021 at 8:05 pm

Page at https://salles-cinema.com/anciens-cinemas/publicis-matignon-paris

Here it is in the Queen’s English.

Address: Champs-Elysées roundabout in Paris (8th arrondissement) Number of rooms: 1 Final closure in 1999.

Like the drugstore on the Champs-Elysées and the one located in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, their creator Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet opened in 1970 a cinema room integrated into his new successful commercial concept installed in the roundabout. -point of the Champs-Elysées. The innovative drugstores of the boss of Publicis offer the sale of books, tobacco and edible products at all hours of the day and night, and include a restaurant, a pharmacy and a cinema.

The opening of the Publicis Matignon cinema is reported in the columns of the professional magazine Le Film français:“Designed and built by architect Georges Peynet, this new room (the entrance to which is located at the corner of rue Jean-Mermoz and the Rond-Point) marks a major step forward in the evolution of cinema decoration . Glass “fabrics” on the walls, ceiling enlivened by colored glass elements, translucent glass screen to replace the traditional stage curtain; club chairs (Gallay) whose safety glass shell is covered with comfortable brightly colored cushions and which, thanks to a hydraulic system, can tilt backwards for a perfect view of the film: the Publicis-Matignon is a cinema resolutely young and futuristic. Its cabin is fully automatic and the room is equipped (like the Publicis Champs-Elysées , Saint-Germainor Orly and Elysées 2) an electronic system allowing the hall to know the number of free seats at any time. The hall also has a conditioning system which allows spectators to smoke ”.

The founder of the advertising agency entrusts the management of his new room to the brothers Jo and Sammy Siritzky, at the head of their company Parafrance. Their circuit of cinemas continues to grow thanks to the opening or the acquisition of cinemas on the national territory. The Publicis Matignon was inaugurated on November 25, 1970 with the world premiere of Jules Dassin’s film “The Promise of the Dawn” based on the autobiographical work of Romain Gary. The female star of the film Melina Mercouri and its director Jules Dassin attend in person the inaugural screening of the room which, for four weeks, displays in absolute exclusivity and sold out the story, edited in 1960 by Gallimard, of the mother of the ‘author.

The exclusive combination of “The Promise of the Dawn” is extended in its fifth week to six theaters, including that of the former Bikini now Le Beverley , newly renovated which offers Art & Essays before earning a few years later to the pornographic genre. The Publicis Matignon continued in 1971 with prestigious titles such as “Music lovers” on February 12 by Ken Russel, “Taking off” by Milos Forman on May 14, the commercial failure of Clint Eastwood “Les Preies” on August 18 and “The Link” by Ingmar Bergman on November 17th.

Subsequently, the films shown at the Publicis Matignon are also offered in a second theater on the avenue des Champs-Elysées. Thus, “Deliverance” by John Boorman enjoyed an outing on September 27, 1972 at the Publicis Matignon and at the Elysées-Lincoln while “Fritz the cat” by Ralph Bakshi inaugurated the new UGC Ermitage on November 30, 1972 and “Portier de night ”by Liliana Cavani is also displayed on April 3, 1974 at the Elysées-Lincoln.

The network of Parafrance cinemas now has a significant programming force, in particular in its cinemas located on avenue des Champs-Elysées. The 300-seat room at the Publicis Matignon was then integrated into very wide combinations of outings, such as for the launch of “La Gifle” by Claude Pinoteau on October 23, 1974, also on the Gaumont Ambassade bill , or even for “Peur sur the city ”by Henri Verneuil on April 9, 1975, also scheduled at Normandy .

However, despite the prominent titles on the poster of Publicis Matignon, spectators are rarer in the room of the roundabout of the Champs-Elysées. Parafrance still manages to increase its attendance by offering exclusive outings among the rooms of its circuit: “Flight over a cuckoo’s nest” by Milos Forman on March 3, 1976, “The Spy who loved me” by Lewis Gilbert on October 12, 1977 or “Emmanuelle 2” by Francis Giacobetti on January 25, 1978.

In the 1980s, the Publicis Matignon ensured the extensions, for several weeks, of great commercial successes such as “Les Uns et les autres” by Claude Lelouch released on May 27, 1981 or “Carmen” by Francesco Rosi.

Following Parafrance’s bankruptcy filing in the mid-1980s, the Champs-Elysées roundabout room was taken over in 1988 by Gaumont. La société à la marguerite is targeting the Club Gaumont Publicis Matignon, its new brand, for both private and public screenings. Gaumont began renovating the room and reduced its capacity to 150 seats. The authors of the “Guide to cinemas in Paris” Christophe Chenebault and Marie Gaussel discuss the transformation of Publicis Matignon:“The fire decoration has been abandoned in favor of a more sober and more elegant one… large black club chairs with double armrests are installed, a cocktail area is set up at the back of the room. The Club-Gaumont is today a beautiful modern room whose horizon of red contrasts with the black of the armchairs or that of the ceiling dotted with points of light. With its 8-meter screen, its Dolby and 70MM equipment, as well as its exceptional comfort, we witness a film in conditions adapted to the requirements of professionals ”.

It is mainly on weekends that the Champs-Elysées roundabout room offers public sessions, most of the time with extensions of commercial success. Philip Kaufman’s films “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and Louis Malle’s “Goodbye Children” benefit, among others, from an end of career at Club-Gaumont Publicis Matignon.

Since the 1980s, the Champs-Elysées halls have been closing one after the other, the rise in commercial rents and the drop in attendance in the district being the two main causes. In turn, the confidential and comfortable room of the Club-Gaumont Publicis Matignon lowered its curtain on July 30, 1999.

Acknowledgments: Mr. Thierry Béné. Documents: Le Film français, Pariscope and private collection.

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