The legendary Le Grand Rex Cinema, Paris

Grand Rex Cinema interior

Interior of the Grand Rex

The legendary Grand Rex is the oldest cinema in Paris. Opened in 1932, the same year as New York’s Radio City Music Hall, it boasts amongst other architectural features a Florentine balcony and a Byzantine loggia. The outside is decorated in a typical art deco style and the three lettered sign REX used to rotate.

The main screening room is an over-the-top mixture of baroque and art deco with a starry sky, and the screen is reputedly the largest in Europe. Originally designed to hold 5000 spectators, in practice it holds under 3000.

Grand Rex cinema
During the Second World War, the cinema was requisitioned by the Germans to become somewhere for the soldiers to watch German propaganda films. Here’s a photograph of the Rex at that time it reopened as a cinema for the masses in October 1944, after the occupation of Paris, briefly becoming a holding centre for prisoners of war in 1945.

Les Etoiles du Rex, a 50 minute audio-guided tour, is held in the behind-the-scenes area, and can be combined with a ticket for the latest film you’d like to watch afterwards. Here’s a bit more information on my slightly embarrassing visit at  Les Etoiles du Rex

Grand Rex

78 rue de la Verrerie, Marais, 2e
Metro Bonne Nouvelle or Grands Boulevards
Tel.: +33 1 45 08 93 58/40
Grand Rex website

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