5.2.10

Theatres etc...

In a continued dull - but warmer - weather, here are some late afternoon photos from an area of Paris we have already visited, but of which I wished to show some more details.

This will be a walk along part of the “Grands Boulevards”, along the Boulevard Saint Martin and the Boulevard Saint Denis and their immediate neighbourhood. I made posts about the total of the “Grands Boulevards” - stretching from Place de la Bastille (see previous post) to Place de la Madeleine (see previous post) - already on my previous blog, indicating that we are here on ground where one of the walls (the Louis XIII wall) surrounding a smaller Paris stood, however only for a short period, 1633-70. We still find here two arches of triumph, the Saint Denis one from 1672 and the more modest Saint Martin one from 1674.

In France there is an expression of the “boulevard theatre”, which basically refers to a repertoire which may be less classical than in the more official theatres. Here are photos of two of the more important ones along Boulevard Saint Martin: “Théatre de la Porte Saint Martin” and the “Théatre de la Renaissance”. Both of them were built just after 1871; previous theatres at the same sites had been destroyed during the “Paris Commune” movements. During the following decades these theatres were linked to names like Jacques Offenbach, Johann Strauss Jr (who even got a small close-by square named after him with a statue), Sarah Bernhardt... and a lot of others maybe only locally known.

Just round the corner, in the crossing streets, there are a number of other theatres, e.g. “Théatre Antoine” (from 1866), where J-P Sartre’s plays were often played. Another one, “Comédia” is more recent (from 1932) and replaces a previous music hall (“Eldorado”) where e.g. Maurice Chevalier appeared. He also performed at the smaller “Splendid” (built in 1896, then called “Casino Saint Martin”) at the age of 19. This theatre is especially known as the home of a team of then young actors – around 1980, known as “La Bande (the troop) de Splendid”, all today extremely successful comedians. A curiosity is a small cinema theatre, “Le Brady”, belonging to a film director, J-P Mocky, perhaps unknown to most of my foreign blog visitors, but extremely well-known locally.

Just behind the Boulevard Saint Martin is a narrow street, Rue René Boulanger. Here, on the backside of the “Théatre Saint Martin”, you will find some fire escape stairs which may remind us of NYC and other American cities. This is something that you hardly ever see in Paris. Why? Some of the older buildings have only one central staircase, often wooden (like the one where I live). In this street Daguerre produced his first “daguerreotypes” in 1839, the painter Georges Seurat was born in 1859...

There are some nice small alleys around, if you look to the right and the left.

I have already made some posts about this area, its Indian restaurants, Indian and African hairdressers, the Brasserie Flo, other small side streets and courts... which you can find here, here, here and here.
I wish you a nice weekend!

38 comments:

Thérèse said...

Un poste qui fait remonter à la surface bien des soirées fort plaisantes dans ces divers théatres... Et de belles vues des rues avoisinantes. Bon week-end Peter!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Thank you Peter for this wonderful little tour, oh it never stops in Paris, always something to see.

I really like you photo at the end with the collage photos, really great.

Trotter said...

Great collection! Now you have to show the after theatre restaurants nearby... ;)

Catherine said...

I love the grand imposing architecture of those old theatres...

V Rakesh said...

Wonderful architecture! Very well captured.....and of the weather, I can so very well relate to it - we experience 4 seasons in one day! ;)

Virginia said...

A palm tree grows in ......Paris? Well I never!! Another area I am fairly certain we've not seen. Where do you find them Peter? And those fire escapes. I think these are the first I've seen in Paris as well. NYC, what a nice place to visit! :)

Bon weekend to you!
V

Shionge said...

Nothing dull about these wonderful shots Peter....great pics as usual and have a great weekend ;D

alice said...

Un temps à aller au théâtre ou au cinéma! Curieux, cet escalier de secours...Bon week end, cher Peter.

Olivier said...

je savais pas que l'on trouvait des "fire escape" dans Paris. Les batiment semblent modernes, j'aime bien...

"J'aime flâner sur les grands boulevards
Y a tant de choses, tant de choses
Tant de choses à voir
On n'a qu'à choisir au hasard
On s'fait des ampoules
A zigzaguer parmi la foule
J'aime les baraques et les bazars
Les étalages, les loteries
Et les camelots bavards
Qui vous débitent leurs bobards"
Y.Montand

Jilly said...

At first I look and see what I think of as 'familiar' Paris and then suddenly, you've turned a corner into tiny streets with bushes and pots of plants, that we've never seen before - at least not me. You so wonderfully capture and share with us so many different aspects of Paris.

claude said...

Ah ! les Grands Boulevards !
Voilà un post qui me rappelle pleins de bons souvenirs. J'aime venir me promener à Paris tous les matins via ton blog Peter.
Je ne savais qu'à Paris il y avait des issues de secours à l'américaine.

hpy said...

Et la suite (après Olivier qui a of course eu la même idée que moi, mais c'était évident)

Je ne suis pas riche à million
Je suis tourneur chez Citroën
J'peux pas me payer des distractions
Tous les jours de la semaine
Aussi moi, j'ai mes petites manies
Qui me font plaisir et ne coûtent rien
Ainsi, dès le travail fini
Je file entre la porte Saint-Denis
Et le boulevard des Italiens

Flâner, quoi de mieux?

Adam said...

Your posts are always so complete! I dread to think how long all the compositions take you, but they become a goldmine for visitors!

I guess we don't see many fire escapes at the rear of buildings because the French favour aesthetics over safety!

Cezar and Léia said...

Wonderful post dear Peter!
Specially the last collage, your pictures are so beautiful!
Paris, the city of ARTS!
We can feel beauty in everywhere there! :)
Have a great weekend,
Léia

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» really appreciates your posts, Peter. Although he lived in Paris for a short while, because he was going to school, he wasn't able to explore Paris as much as he would have liked. You are taking him places he's never seen, this post being among them.

Louis la Vache said...

Oh, and one more thing - «Louis» really likes the inclusion of the maps on your posts.

Bagman and Butler said...

Thanks for giving me another morning stroll through Paris. Because of your post I'm beginning to think I live there.

designslinger.com said...

Fascinating - as always.
Until you mentioned it - I've never thought about the lack of fire escapes hanging from the sides of buildings.
Ah, Paree!

Jim

Cergie said...

Début aout nous nous sommes garés près du Bataclan Bd Voltaire, 11ème, fraîchement rénové, il m'étonne qu'Adam ne t'en parle pas, je ne crois pas que tu le cites ici mais même toi tu ne peux citer tout ce qu'il y a à Paris.
Les photos de portes pourraient avoir été prises dans bien des villes, à Nancy ou même quelque part à Berlin ou à Rome. Les escaliers Zorro ont un petit air bien étasuniens par contre...

Cergie said...

Il me faudra aller réviser tes staues du jardin du Luxembourg si je ne trouve pas ce que je veux : ce qu'est une certaine fontaine près de l'Orangerie...

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Paris is just so *replete* with culture, I get easily overwhelmed! This is such a complete post as are the former ones you have linked (I skimmed them just now), and I am amazed at all that is to be found here in the city.

It really is quite incredible.

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Oh, and P.S. A good weekend to you as well. :)

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Starman said...

Great pictures of an area I know well from my first time in Paris and several re-visits.

Jeanie said...

Well, this one-time theatre major is delighted to see this post! I love theatres, inside and out! Thanks!

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Ruth said...

This one is really packed with good info.

Wasn't Maurice Chevalier born at 40? I can't imagine him 19.

Allees are nice, all that greenery. I never mind tight spaces when they're well attended.

Bon week-end, Peter.

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ALAIN said...

Tu n'es pas allé jusqu'au boulevard du Temple, que l'on appelait "Boulevard du crime" en raison des programmes sanglants de ses théatres. Je crois qu'il ne reste plus que le théatre Déjazet aujourd'hui.

Peter said...

Thérèse:
... et encore on n'était pas la pour Offenbach ou Strauss! :-)

Anne:
Yes, always something! :-)

Trotter:
Are you especially thinking of chez Julien? :-)

Peter said...

Catherine:
Yes, obviously "rich years"... at least for some! :-)

Rakesh:
I'm afraid we have only one season at the moment - winter! :-)

Virginia:
There are many palm trees in Paris! Of course some are under shelter during the winter! Yes, NYC is a nice place to visit, that's sure! :-)

Peter said...

Shionge:
Good that you don't see them as entirely dull! :-)

Alice:
Oui, je suis allé au cinéma samedi! :-)

Oliver:
Tu ne pouvais pas rater "j'aime flaner...". :-)

Peter said...

Jilly:
You know also that a blogger always looks to the right and the left! :-)

Claude:
Je me demande si ce ne sont pas les seuls? :-)

hpy:
Dommage qu'on n'a pas le son! :-)

Peter said...

Adam:
I wonder if anybody is more complete than you? :-)

Léia:
To enjoy on photos and for real! :-)

Louis:
You know that Paris would be happy to see you again! :-)

Peter said...

Louis (bis):
Good! Then I don't do it for nothing! :-)

Bagman and Butler:
That was again a nice compliment! :-)

Designslinger:
I actually never thought about it either, until I saw this one! :-)

Peter said...

Cergie:
Je suis resté uniquement bds St.Martin et St.Denis... this time! :-)

Cergie bis:
On y va ensemble pour voir? :-)

Karin:
You see, there are more walks to do! :-)

Peter said...

Karin bis:
Thanks! Too late to wish you the same, but please have a nice week! :-)

Starman:
So you can check if I made something wrong! :-)

Jeanie:
Theatre Major! :-)

Peter said...

Ruth:
I guess he was never filmed or recorded at 19! :-)

Alain:
Je pense que tu as raison. J'en ai parlé sur un post précédent. :-)