La Pagode

This is a guest post by Sara McCarty at Context Travel. They have shared some of their expert advice on some fun new ways to discover the City of Light. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Paris has no dearth of historic jewel-box cinema houses where you can escape the summer heat and take in a film amidst grandeur from a former age.

One such house is La Pagode, a late 19th century gem commissioned by François-Émile Morin, the director of Le Bon Marché department store, as a gift for his wife. The building was designed to mimic a Japanese pagoda during a time when Japonisme, or the influence of Japanese aesthetics on western art culture, was all the rage.

Madame Morin soon left her husband for his business partner, but she used the building’s interior salon for lavish private affairs until the late 20s. In the early 30s it opened to the public as a movie theater and became a forerunning promoter of art house cinema in the city (particular of the work of Ingmar Bergman and and Sergei Eisenstein). The premiere of Jean Cocteau’s Testament d’Orphée was held here in 1959.

La Pagode’s stunning architectural details—stained glass, gilding, and tapestries, not to mention its quaint Japanese-style garden, inspired its classification as a monument historique in 1990. Currently the theater has two screening rooms, one being housed in Madame Morin’s grande salle. Thanks to its status as a cinema Art et Essai, La Pagode continues to show exclusively independent films, as well as hosts various cultural events.

There is a cafe in the garden where you can enjoy a cocktail before the screening.

La Pagode
57 Bis Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris, France
Open Everyday from 1:30pm-12am


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