What we see above is the hotel and shopping building which today stands close to Place de Clichy.
Until 1973 a completely other type of building stood here, first built for horse racing, a hippodrome, which stood ready in 1899, also used for soccer games and all kinds of shows, then for a while used as a circus.
Rather soon it was transformed to a cinema and took the name of « Gaumont Palace » in 1911. The projection of films those days involved a great danger of fire – some serious accidents had occured including the one at the « Bazar de la Charité ». (I talked about it in a previous post.) For this reason the films were in the beginning projected from a seperate room behind the theatre (a mirror system) on a transparent screen.
1930-31 the architecture was seriously modified in an Art Deco style - as well the interior as the exterior. It was said to be the biggest cinema theatre in the world with some 6 000 seats. Different modifications took place over the years to adapt to new projection techniques, a giant screen… , but fashion changed, the large public was not there any more … and the Palace disappeared in 1973 and was replaced by the hotel and shopping building you van see on the top picture. .
Music was performed in the cinema theatre. There was an orchestra and an organ. The organ has been saved and can today be found in the only « pavillon Baltard », which was saved when the « Les Halles » were remodeled (to say it kindly) in the beginning of the 1970’s. You can find it in the suburb Nogent-sur-Marne. Today « Les Halles « are again remodeled, but that’s another story.