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Entertainment: In Paris, the city with the most cinemas in the world, the Grand Rex is reducing a beauty

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Le Grand Rex, the last very large film hall in Paris, reopens its doors after renovation and finds its appearance of the 1930s

Gallic village in a world dominated by American platforms, Paris still remains the world capital of cinemas with 400 rooms, including the largest in the world, the Grand Rex, celebrates its 90th birthday and offers itself a new youth.

On the big boulevards, the time is for the last brushstrokes on the facade of the classified building Art Deco. The objective of the renovation was to find the appearance of the 1930s, swapping red hits the eye for the cream and original silver mixture. The Grand Rex had been inaugurated in 1932, with its "atmospheric" room inspired by American cinemas from the 1920s. It was classified as a Historic monument in 1981.

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The last very large room

" That the cinema exists, we counted 71 rooms larger than Rex and its 2,700 places. They all closed, "explains his manager, Alexandre Hellmann, impatient to support Thursday, December 8, for the inauguration, on the button which will turn on the imposing rotary brand "Rex". She will again be the only one to turn in the sky of the capital.

Files which sometimes form in early morning, an expected attendance in decrease of only 10% in 2022 compared to the forefront ... The success of the independent mastodon has something to make Many operators in the world, who fail to bring their audiences back.

Especially since it is located a quarter of an hour on foot from the 27 rooms in the Ciné Cité-les Halles, one of the most frequented multiplexes in the world.

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Freshies and night marathons

"If we were only to live with the cinema, we would close the doors", agrees Alexandre Hellmann, who played the card of diversification, with his club, his escape game and above all His concert-events, from Madonna to Bob Dylan.

In terms of cinema, the Grand Rex convinced the public to leave his sofa with "events" sessions, preview manga or film marathons until the end of the night, which allow you to attach Communities of faithful fans. And for the glamor, prestigious previews, including the next, that of the last Spielberg, The Fabelmans

The Grands-Boulevards room, in the heart of the capital, also benefits from the decline of another historic place in cinema, The Champs-Élysées. The Marignan will soon lower the curtain, after the George-V.

The Champs-Elysées disappear from the

landscape The famous avenue, surveyed by Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in a breath, was "the cinema district in Paris, but it is disappearing", especially because " At a cost of disproportionate land ", analyzes Michel Gomez, the cinema of the town hall of Paris.

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"It is difficult to see rooms close, but cinema in Paris is a living fabric", dependent on private actors, which follow the evolution "sociological and geographic of the city", he tempers.

At the end of 2022, Paris still has the highest density of rooms in the world, with 398 screens in 75 cinemas, according to the figures transmitted by the city to AFP. Or almost as much as before the pandemic (411 screens in 2019), and 8% more than in the year 2000.

The Art et Essa network resists

even if the fate of certain small independents, such as the key or the Luminor, remains threatened by real estate speculation, the art and essay network, unique in the world, "resists" overall, underlines Michel Gomez. This is the case of the famous rooms in the Latin district and their ultra-pointed or heritage offer.

of the places which refer to the other side of the Atlantic, as the director Damien Chazelle (La Land), passing through Paris, entrusted to AFP, where he did his cinephile education. "High school student, I was going to the old cinemas of the Latin district watching retrospectives, projections of old films from Hollywood, France or Japan. The first time I saw Metropolis de Fritz Lang is here. That. Don't forget! "

The center of cinema gravity in Paris could still move. In 2024 must open near the opera a mega-project entrusted to the architect Star Renzo Piano by Jérôme Seydoux, patron of Pathé. And on a completely different scale, the pagoda, a high place in the history of cinephilia, bought by an American patron, will reopen.

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