Cinema du Pantheon
13 Rue Victor-Cousin,
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Cinema du Pantheon (Official)
Previously operated by: Pathe
Functions: Movies (Independent)
Previous Names: Pantheon, Europa Pantheon
Located in the inner city near the left bank of the River Seine. This is the oldest movie theatre of Paris still operating. In the narrow building of a former gymnasium, the Omnia Pathe chain opened a cinema in 1907.
After a long period with silent movies a young French producer Pierre Braunberger took over the management of the theatre in 1929 and in February 1930 presented an Ernst Lubitsch sound movie called “The Love Parade” starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald. Patrons were mostly American and British because for the first time in Paris the program policy was English speaking movies, and at that time there were no subtitles.
The small balcony is located at the first floor with the projection booth in a corner at the same level. The Pantheon was run by the same owner for 60 years. This man was a major producer of the French “nouvelle vague” and discovered a lot of talent. His office was in a huge flat full of old projectors. He died in 1990.
The auditorium was in poor condition by this time and the original sound system was still there, unused.
A major renovation in 1990 returned the theatre to its original design. The Jean Jacques Beinnex movie “Diva” ran more than a year at the Pantheon, a full house every evening! This old fashioned movie theatre presents art and avant garde movies with its audience mainly comprised of students from the nearby Sorbonne University.
The original so-called “couples armchairs” in the theatre’s balcony from the 1950’s are still in place. The Tuchinski in Amsterdam also has this kind of seating in its balcony.
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