rue Caulaincourt and rue Forest,
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Previously operated by: Gaumont France
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Hippodrome Theatre, Hippodrome Grand Cinema du Monde, Hippo-Palace
The Gaumont Palace was the biggest movie theatre in Europe. It was located at 3 Rue Caulaincourt at the corner of Rue Forest and was a re-construction of the Hippodrome Theatre (1900) which had 5,500 seats and had been designed by architect Auguste Bahrmann. The Hippodrome Theatre was taken over by Leon Gaumont and re-opened as a cinema on 14th December 1907 as the Hippodrome Grand Cinema du Monde, soon known as the Hippo-Palace.
Another re-construction of the Hippodrome took place in 1930 when architect Henri Belloc created a fantastic super cinema in an Art Deco style, named Gaumont Palace. Seating was provided for 6,420 in orchestra and two balcony levels. It was equipped with a British made Christie 4Manual/15Ranks theatre organ. It opened on June 17, 1931 with “Tabou”.
The cinema was renovated in early-1954 to the plans of architect Georges Peynet and the exterior was renovated later that year. It was converted into a 3-strip Cinerama theatre from 17th September 1963 until 13th October 1964, after which it was a 70mm cinema. The final weeks saw sold out concerts by Frank Zappa and The Beach Boys. The Gaumont Palace closed on 31st March 1972 following a weeks run of John Wayne in “The Cowboys”, presented in 70mm.
It was demolished in early-1973. The famous Christie pipe organ was removed at the last moment before demolition and is now in a suburb of Paris. Today the Mercure Hotel, part of the Ibis Hotels Group stands on the site.
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