216 Boulevard Raspail,
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This fine Art Deco building was built in 1932 with flats above, the architect being Bruno Elbouken. Between two other buildings, this was a secluded theatre with a very sober design and a small balcony.
In 1934, the theatre became an art movie theatre named Raspail 216, after the district of Montparnasse. Famous artists such as Modigliani lived in the flats above this theatre.
After a short time as the newsreel cinema Paris Soir Raspail, the Studio Raspail became an art movie cinema again. Around the 50s, a renovation gave an impressive marquee and the auditorium received new lighting on plaster shelves. New confortable club armchairs prompted the advertising on the facade: the Studio Raspail is the most comfortable movie theatre of Montparnasse.
The program policy was perfect for movie lovers: old Westerns, Chaplin movies, and avant garde film. However, around the 80s, the location became too far from the newly built or multiplexed movie theatres of the district and first run movies do not stop the decreasing profit. The Studio closed at the end of 1982.
After being dark a while, the French post office operated the theatre as a cultural center, a major refurbishing returned the theatre to its former sober design, with live performance facilities and a new marquee.
A lot of events gave the opportunity even for people passing by to visit the theatre for free plays. The building is listed and is one of the finest Art Deco buildings of the city.
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