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French cinema: the best theaters and film festivals in Paris

City Guide October 2, 2023
Nannybag - French cinema: the best theaters and film festivals in Paris

 

One of the most popular draws of Paris is the amazing collection of opera houses, theatres, and cinemas all around the city. Paris has historic theatres and cinemas that still stage films and plays. So, if you’re looking for the best opera house or movie theatre in Paris, keep reading our guide! We’ll also talk about a couple of film festivals in the city.

One thing to remember, though - most theatres have strict rules regarding leaving bags and luggage in cloakrooms, which can also be very expensive. So, if you’re thinking of visiting one of these theatres and thinking, “where’s some Paris luggage storage near me” check out Nannybag, who can help with all luggage storage needs. Now, let’s check out some of our favorites…

 

Théâtre de l'Odéon

Located in the ancient Latin Quarter of Paris, the Théâtre de l'Odéon (Odeon Theater of Paris) is a vibrant hub of contemporary theatre. Founded in 1782, the theatre has a long history of staging politically charged plays and has been a platform for some of France's most provocative and influential playwrights to stir up trouble!

In recent years, the Odéon Theatre Paris has expanded to include various experimental works and has become a hotspot for avant-garde theatre. The theatre's modern interior, sleek lines, and minimalist design provide the perfect setting for these cutting-edge shows.

 

Théâtre du Châtelet

Situated in the bustling Châtelet area in the heart of Paris, the Théâtre du Châtelet has been entertaining audiences since 1862. Originally built as an opera house, the theatre now stages many different types of productions, including musicals, ballets, and plays.

The Châtelet has a reputation for presenting innovative, boundary-pushing works and has hosted world premieres of productions such as An American in Paris and Cats. The theatre's elegant interior, ornate balconies, and grand chandelier make for a truly unforgettable theatrical experience. The theatre is so iconic that, in 2019, Comme des Garcons released a fragrance named after and inspired by the theatre.

 

Nannybag - French cinema: the best theaters and film festivals in Paris

 

Comédie-Française

Founded in 1680, the Comédie-Française is one of the world's oldest and most prestigious theatres. Located in the heart of Paris, the theatre is the permanent home of the French National Theatre Company, which performs classical and contemporary plays. The Comédie-Française is known for its commitment to preserving the French theatrical tradition.

It has produced some of the most iconic works in French theatre history, including plays by Molière, Racine, and Marivaux. With its rich history and beautiful interior, the Comédie-Française is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of theatre.

 

Le Louxor

This is a historic cinema located in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. The building was originally constructed in 1921 in the Art Deco style and served as a popular movie theater for several decades. However, by the 1980s, the Louxor had fallen into disrepair and was eventually forced to close, and was essentially abandoned. In the early 2000s, there was a movement to restore the Louxor to its former glory, and Paris undertook a major renovation project.

The goal was to preserve the building's original architecture while modernizing the facilities to meet the cinema expectations of the 21st century. The renovated Louxor reopened in 2013, and today it is a vibrant cultural center that hosts a range of film screenings (often with an emphasis on arthouse films), live performances, and other things like ballet theatre.

 

The Chaillot Theatre Paris

Also known as the Théâtre National de Chaillot, this historic theater is in the glamorous 16th arrondissement. The theater was built in 1937 for the International Exhibition of Arts and Technology and has since become an iconic landmark of the city. The building features a grand façade with a huge staircase leading up to the entrance. Inside, the theater boasts a large main stage and two smaller stages, a spacious foyer, and an elegant Art Deco interior, an iconic Parisian style emblematic of the early 20th century.

Over the years, various performances have occurred here, including dance, theater, music, and more. It has also been the site of many important cultural and political events, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signing in 1948. There are also some great adjoining museums, such as the Musée de l'Homme and the Musée National de la Marine, as part of the same building complex.

Regarding film festivals, Paris is not the most known spot in France that hosts such occasions. Cities such as Cannes (of course), La Rochelle, and Toulouse host some of the biggest film festivals in the world, but there are certainly some cool ones in Paris that are worth going to.

 

Nannybag - French cinema: the best theaters and film festivals in Paris

 

Champs-Élysées Film Festival

Champs-Élysées Film Festival is one example; you get to hang out on the Champs-Élysées and watch some great films and documentaries. But that's not all - there's also tons of other fun stuff to do, like go to panel discussions, participate in masterclasses, and attend special events.

The Champs-Élysées Film Festival promotes cultural exchange between French and American cinema. So, you get to see some unique and interesting films from both countries and learn about different perspectives and styles. The festival has become well-known for championing indie cinema and bringing the French and American film industries closer together.

 

Paris International Fantastic Film Festival (PIFFF)

Another film festival to check out is the Paris International Fantastic Film Festival (PIFFF), which happens yearly in Max Linder Panorama Theater. It's all about showing off the best horror, sci-fi, and fantasy movies worldwide.

The festival started in 2011 and has become one of France's biggest genre film festivals. The festival lasts several days and shows all sorts of movies, both new and old favorites, including cult classics. But it's not just about watching movies.

They also have Q&A sessions with filmmakers, panel discussions, and other fun events. And ultimately, they give awards for things like Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, and Best Director. A must for a horror buff in Paris at the right time, this is incredibly popular with sci-fi and horror fans! Remember, you might need luggage storage while attending one of these great festivals, so check out Nannybag for a cheap and safe option.

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