rue Caulaincourt and rue Forest,
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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.
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 Gaumont Palace closed in 1970, the last film to play was Martin Balsam in “Tora, Tora, Tora”.
Torn down in 1972, the famous 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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