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Theater Jewels of Paris

The area of the Grand Boulevards have always attracted Parisian theatergoers for long centuries. On my recent walks I took a closer look at their beautiful facades for you.


The Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin is one of the biggest and oldest ones built here.
On a decision by Marie-Antoinette, architect Alexandre Lenoir built the first building (then called "Opéra de la Porte Saint-Martin") in 1781 in order to house the Royal Academy of Music, whose previous location got destroyed by a fire. The construction was completed in a record time of only 2 months.
All across its history the theater got closed down on numerous occasions for bankruptcy. The building finally got burned down in 1870 under the Commune de Paris, but got rebuilt on the same spot in 1873.
Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas present their most recent plays here, Sarah Bernhardt is acclaimed like no other on its stage.
In the 1960s the theater rises to a new fame by staging new kinds of revolutionary events, like "Hair", "Gospell", and reveals all during the following decades the greatest French acting talents such as Louis de Funès and many others.


The Theatre de la Porte Saint-Martin in 1850
After the 1871 fire
The reconstruction plans 1873

The Théâtre de la Renaissance opened its doors in 1838 under the sponsorship of Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, père, who wanted to have a location for mounting their historical dramas.
The French version of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor was produced there in 1839. Sarah Bernhardt also had major triumphs at this place.

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1 Responses to “Theater Jewels of Paris”

  1. # Blogger Marie

    thanks for the share! i'm researching the porte saint martin:) happy blogging!  

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    I am Cedric, discoverer of things that would go unnoticed in the streets of Paris, historic haven of fashionistas and city of lights ('lights' as in 'enlightenment', not street lights).
    But seriously: I'm an expat from Luxembourg (the country, not the garden), living in the center of Paris (hence 'Paris 2nd arrondissement'), and currenlty studying architectural history...


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