Les Etoiles du Rex – Backstage tour of a great cinema

Les Etoiles du Rex screening room (www.nouveau-paris-ile-de-france.fr)

Les Etoiles du Rex screening room

Hilarious. I’d just arrived in Paris, not having been in a while, so my ear for French wasn’t particularly well-developed (not that it is at the best of times …) So there was a misunderstanding with the lady at the ticket desk right at the beginning.

I was told to go down the stairs to the right and stand behind the barrier – everything would happen automatically. I was given a metallic object to hang around my neck. Presumably this activates the presentations as you go along. (Initially I’d walked down to the left and wandered aimlessly around, noting the toilets on the right, wondering what I was doing here – this was the misunderstanding. She had to call me back.)

In case you run into the same problem I’ll warn you that she may ask if you’d like the tour in another language and what language that might be. (I’m afraid I’m not sure how this works if you happen to be in a group amongst French speakers.) In my ridiculously gung-ho way I advised that I’d like to practice my French, so French please!

Anyway, I was on my own with no-one else booked for this Saturday morning 11 ‘o’ clock tour.

The tour got going. I got my first drenching at the start, and that wasn’t to be the last – as the commentary was in French I wasn’t completely sure why I got that one!

I was drawn through a series of different rooms, up and down stairs, was guided towards individual exhibits within rooms, all by voice activation, lights switching on and off, doors opening by themselves, lift doors opening … Everything was automatic, and I was so impressed (maybe I’m easily impressed) I chuckled to myself the whole way through.

I’ll not give too much detail away on the interactive bits and pieces that go on (I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you) but give it a go. You’ll hear about what goes on backstage at the Grand Rex, you’ll see footage of significant events in its past, you’ll find out what happens in the process of filming, you’ll experience the glamour of cinema in its golden age. And you’ll have a lot of fun.

Etoiles du Rex practical info

Book online at http://clients.pixelligence.com/rex/main.html

Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 7pm

Price: Adult tickets 9,80 eur0s

Address: 1 Boulevard Poissonnière, Metro Bonne Nouvelle

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