Carroll H. Rasch
From: Saint Louis Park, MN
Registered: Apr 2005
posted May 11, 2005 11:31 AM
Gaumont Grand Ecran Italie à Paris
30, place d'Italie
Téléphone : 08 92 69 66 96
Number of screens: 3
The building was designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange.
Environment: large glass building including MacDonalds & video games and office space. Spectacular and artsy glass roof topped by a floating sculpture of steel girders.
Admission: 7 to 9 Euros (?)..one of the more expensive theaters.
Programming:"Large" blockbuster films in the large theater, "small" films in the two theaters downstairs. Almost always in VO ("version original" meaning original language and sometimes without subtitles).
Misc.: sometimes the crowds seem too large for the staff.
When a film is preceded by lots of publicity ("Jurassic
Park", "the Fifth Element", "Star Wars"),the main screen shows the feature around the clock all weekend. Even the 4:00 AM showings can be packed.
The three Theater venues: The "Grandest Ecran" (screen) is easy to find and is just inside the entry of the building.
Theaters 2 and 3 are with the basement of the shopping centre. On a Sunday, it is a little spooky down there.
Theater 1: approximately 650 comfortable seats. There are no bad seats. panoramic screen is 240 square meters. The screen is 24 meters X 10 meters. It is one of the best run projection rooms and theaters in Paris. There is a laser light show before most of the showings. The light show changes only about once a year.
Theater 2: 100 seats - screen 9 meters x 3.5 meters, Stereo Dolby A, SR.
Theater 3: 100 seats - screen 8 meters x 3.5 meters, Stereo Dolby A, SR.
Now Showing at the "Gaumont."
The link below will bring a web cam up on your screen. The camera seems to be on top of the City Hall of the 13th arr. (Yes, each of the twenty divisions or boroughs of Paris has its own City Hall.) The Grand Ecran is a very impressive theater which advertises itself as the largest screen in France. The entry is in the modern building just across the traffic circle and through the expansive glass at street level. The lobby is very expansive and does not show its grandeur very well in the picture elsewhere in the "cinematour" web site.
I lived near the Gaumont GRAND ECRAN in the Rue de la Butte aux Cailles in Paris in 1997. It is a great neighborhood. It is considered "unfashionable" by all the people I like to avoid. It is in the far southeast corner of the city within the Periferique. There are almost NO tourists. The "Chinatown" of Paris is around the taller buildings to the left and behind the Grand Ecran in the Webcam below. There are many Italians living in the area along with wonderful Italian eateries. The Metro station under the Place d'Italie traffic circle is one of the best !!!! At least three major lines cross under. I think that all but one of the major railroad stations to the rest of France and Europe can be reached from this Metro Stop without switching Metro lines. Orly is very close and the Denfert-Rochereau Metro stop is only about five stops away to the west...which connects to the RER and which takes you out to Charles DeGaulle at the speed of a North Dakota freeway. This is a part of Paris that does not feel jaded and aloof. There is a market day three times a week and stretches down the block to the right from the last building in the webcam picture. The cafes are open all night and the baggy pants, skateboarding, American-Junior-High-Wannabees cluster on the large paved expanse in front of the Grand Ecran to hone their skills and "hang out" in the American style.
It is an easy walk under the camera and to the right to get to foot of Rue Mouffetard and on to Place de la Contrescarpe and the neighborhoods made famous by Hemingway in "The Sun Also Rises."
I really recommend the neighborhood behind and to the right of the Grand Ecran to those of you who want to experience the Paris that has not been ruined by tourism (in spite of the McDonalds)...Some say it is the way Paris was in the time of Perles and Henry Miller in the 1930s and 1950s. Henry Miller and Anais Nin lived a short walk to the west. Their art deco home in the cul de sac is still there. The houses are in great shape. It is so deliciously free of the kind of people that ruin a Paris experience... aging American Yuppies visit elsewhere... and the blue haired ladies from the Iowa bus tours are all up in the streets around Pigalle...clucking and feeling the heat...so that they can decry it later, when they get back to Des Moines...but tonight? They go with the tingle...
Some nights I turn off all the lights and make the web cam picture below as large as possible...Even with the time difference there is activitiy on the Place d'Italie. I sip wine and imagine I am in the cafe-bar to the right of the Grand Ecran...where I often walked when I could not sleep. I do the same now and slip into that chair... Damn. (I am really a sick bastard. But, having lived in Paris for a time, I feel a tiny bit "unwell" everywhere else.)
PARIS WEB CAMS
When you arrive, click on "Place d'Italie."
other Movie Theaters in the 13th
[ June 09, 2005, 11:57 PM: Message edited by: Carroll H. Rasch ]
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