1 Boulevard Poissonniere,
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The biggest movie theatre still operating in Paris, the Grand Rex opened on 8th December 1932 with “Les Trois Mousquetaires”(The Three Musketeers). It was built for independent operator Jacques Haik, who already operated the 5,000 seat l'Olympia music hall, and was the man who made Charlie Chaplin famous in France.
The Rex Theatre Jacques Haik was designed by architect Auguste Bluysen in an Art Deco style, both externally and in its foyers, dance hall and restaurant areas. The Atmospheric/Moroccan style auditorium was the work of architect/interior decorator Maurice Dufrene, styled in collaboration with noted American theatre architect John Eberson. Originally seating was provided for 3,500 on orchestra, mezzanine and balcony levels. It is in a perfect shape a big screen called “grand large”, a screen behind the stage that can be removed, is used for some movies and every Christmas. Disney movies are a tradition with a waterfall on stage.
The original ‘Le Grand Rex’ auditorium currently seats 2,750 and remains the largest single movie auditorium in Europe. It now hosts live concerts, with some film use for star-studded premieres and first runs.
In November 1974, three screens 1-3, were added in the space of the former basement ballroom which have seating for 304, 350 and 85. In 1983, four screens 4-7, were added in the next building (a former shoe warehouse) which seat 200, 235, 100 and 150. Films are always presented in their French versions.
In 2004, a new project for 12 screens and a remodeling keeping the main auditorium intact was planned, but by 2009, this had not happened.
There is an additionnal attraction called “Les Etoiles du Rex”, looking like a Euro Disney attraction, which takes you on a ‘self conducted’ backstage tour which describes the history of the theatre and the movies with plenty of thrills and special effects.
In October 1982, le Ministere de la Culture added Le Grand Rex to the list of historic momuments.
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