This superb Belle Epoque building with painted frescoes in the heart of Les Lilas, a little village North-East of Paris (métro Mairie des Lilas), is also an art house cinema. Parisians in the know flock to Les Lilas to see films, in style.
181 bis, rue de Paris, Les Lilas 93260
+33(0)1 43 60 41 89
For lovers of vintage film posters and stills going back to the early days of cinema, Cinedoc is the place to head to. Drawers of amazing french vintage film posters vie for your attention competing with scene stills and photographs of the stars of all nationalities. The shop is crammed from floor to ceiling - a treasure trove. Cinedoc is in the Passage Jouffroy, a wonderful almost secret network of covered glazed shopping arcades dating from the nineteenth century. Each of the 30 passages has its own architectural style - some like the Galerie Vero-Dodat are very grand with black marble columns and painted shopfronts. Others such as the Passage des Panoramas are a little run down but contain delightful bric-a-brac shops and stamp dealers. The Passages of Paris are hidden gems well worth discovering away from the traffic clogged boulevards.
45-53 Passage Jouffroy
T: 01 48 24 71 36
Located off Boulevard Montmartre
Metro: Grandes Boulevards
My favorite place to catch a film in Paris is at the fabulous MK2 Quai de Seine/Quai de Loire Cinemas: two cinemas that are on either side of the Basin de La Villete Canal near metro Jaures.
They play a fine selection of art-house movies, boast of two cafes and a cool cinema-theme bookshop. The best part is- buy a ticket on either side of the water and take a free little boat that will shuttle you to the other side. Where else can you arrive at the cinema by boat?
It's always thrilling to open the 'Pariscope' on a rainy night and see what films are showing. You get the feeling that any film you could possibly want to see, from 'Modern Times' to 'Mad Max' is on somewhere. If you're in Paris on a rainy night and fancy going to the cinema, then I thoroughly recommend 'La Pagode'. Not for lovers of the latest surround sound technology and the latest Computer Generated Images, this cinema is built in the style of an authentic Japanese pagoda. The house was commissioned by a rich French businessman for his wife in 1895 and was transformed into a cinema in the 1930s. It is fabulously decorated in oriental style, inside and out. The actual cinema itself is, I think, the ballroom with a stunningly ornate ceiling. You'll not get the latest Hollywood blockbusters on this screen. They're more likely to be showing a Woody Allen retrospective or the latest Kusturica. But it's not impossible to see familiar faces of the French cinema creeping out of the cinema unnoticed (I saw you, Mr Léaud!). It is in real need of rennovation, apparently, but still a stunningly beautiful place to spend a rainy evening in Paris.
Cinema 'La Pagode' 57Bis r Babylone 75007 Paris Metro : Saint François Xavier Tel: 01.45.55.48.48
Forget the Odeon, enjoy the MK2. Next to the modern François Mitterand national library, this MK2 cinema is Eden for cinema-goers. Not only you will enjoy French films in the best audio conditions but the MK2 architect designed comfy armchairs he called "fauteuils pour deux"... armchairs for couples! Vive la France! And if you're single, no worry: you can still watch your film while stretching your big legs. What a pleasure!
128/162 avenue de France - 75013 Paris. Phone: 08 92 69 84 84 Métro Line 14: Bibliothèque F.Mitterrand.
Between a Kubrick cycle and the latest Sofia Coppola, you can taste unpretentious food that won't overshadow the high quality or originality of the films, but mean you can chill out (on the patio if you're lucky) for just over the price of a ticket to the cinema (French prices!).
7-9 rue Francis-de-Pressense, 75014: 00 33 (1) 45 40 60 70: Metro Pernety
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