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Let yourself be surprised! Soon years of history Offers Only on our site, we offer year-round benefits and offers so you can enjoy your stay at the best prices. The Good Life Parking free. Best rates guaranteed. The article then moved to the importance of bedspreads and sheets, claiming that children slept best when they were covered up by their favorite characters— Le Petit Poucet Tom Thumb , La Belle au bois dormant Sleeping Beauty , Mickey Mouse, and then, of course, Les Trois petits cochons.
But this tends to collapse all viewers into just one, insisting that everyone watched and appreciated the cartoon in the same way, and really only considers audiences in the United States. The name of the exhibition site itself as well as the location invoke the vast range of French colonial authority. Nevertheless, the cinemas in North Africa were often extraordinary, equal to or superior to any in Paris, and this was especially true of those sites that were built as picture palaces early in the sound era.
There was the opulent Rialto in Oran, and there were at least three new Empire cinemas, the one in Fez and then two in Algeria, in Algiers and Blida. It did double duty as a cinema and casino, and its grand opening in October was a major cultural and architectural event in Morocco. His work typically combined European and North African modernist aesthetics. The cinema seated 2, in an orchestra, loges, and balcony, making it one of the largest such sites in North Africa as far as I can tell, at the time only two cinemas in Algiers, the Majestic and the other Empire, were larger.
The ceiling was covered with Celotex, a new British insulation material that provided for perfect acoustics. Of course, for the researcher in the United States, movie information from Morocco—and from the s—is very hard to come by. In the s, though, cinemas in North Africa might stand as significant monuments celebrating allegiance to France but also at least some degree of aesthetic independence. Les Chantiers , in fact, ended its discussion of the new cinema with just such an assertion.
Not since Madchen in Uniform had set a new standard for subtitles, which had been written by Colette see my blog post of September 24 th , , had Jahier been so upset by the practice as he was at the screening of this new movie from Hollywood. If we take Jahier at his word, his upset seems justified. But what are we supposed to make of his praise for the Washington? How exactly did that cinema show foreign films? About five years after almost all of the commercial cinemas in Paris had converted to sound technology, when we would expect to find standardized methods for showing all kinds of sound films, had the Washington developed its own method of projecting subtitles, different from any other cinema in the city?
The Washington had been around, at the same address at 14 rue Magellan in the eighth arrondissement, at least since the mids. During that period it had been called the Washington-Magellan, for its address, and then in became the Washington-Palace, probably an indication that it had gone from being an independent cinema to a member of a circuit.
There were a number of Palace cinemas in Paris during the s, many of them affiliated with one of the largest, vertically integrated cinema corporations in France, Gaumont-Franco-Film-Aubert. As a sign of its status among cinemas, and unlike, say, the Marignan or the Normandie just a few blocks away, the Washington through the earlys was unable to keep even the most popular films for more than a week or two. The shaded area shows the eighth arrondissement in Paris. These films always were shown in English, with subtitles. Over the decade of the s, the eighth became more and more densely packed with cinemas.
In , the Washington was one of only nine cinemas in the arrondissement. By , there were eighteen. For a few years in the mids, the Washington shared its space on rue Magellan with another cinema, the Washington-Club. Sometime in the lates, both of the screening spaces disappeared. There are no listings for the Washington in available newspapers from the German occupation. By , just a few years after the liberation of the city, there were 23 cinemas in the eighth arrondissement, but none of them was on the rue Magellan.
This really was nothing extraordinary. At first glance, and except during the occupation, the cinematic landscape of Paris typically seemed to be expanding during the period. But cinemas closed nevertheless, and the end of the Washington may perhaps have been tied to problems with the Palace chain of cinemas, or competition from all of the exhibition sites that had opened nearby, or for some other reason that we can never really know. The building at 14 rue Magellan today yields no clues, and no evidence that a cinema had ever been there.
Nor is there any further trace of how subtitled films were shown there. The New York Times had their man in Paris, Herbert Matthews, and he wrote frequently about the cinema; the films that were popular, the stars, and also the exhibition sites. In fact he preferred the latter to the movie theatres in New York, mostly because Parisian cinemas served alcohol. Matthews wrote about the Washington just once, after he had seen Jean Harlow in Bombshell there in January He spent most of his column commenting on the subtitles, and on some of the more interesting differences between French and English.
There were instances, as well, that simply left Matthews mystified, and that seemed to speak more to inept translation than to anything particular about French culture. Matthews could only scratch his head at that one, but he gave no indication that the subtitles were shown at all unusually. The building currently at 14 rue Magellan, the site of the Washington-Palace. Speak to us in French! But this gets ahead of the story just a little bit.
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It had occupied the same space on the boulevard de Clichy during all of that time, and just about everybody who was anybody in French popular music had performed there: Mistinguett, Max Dearly, Maurice Chevalier, Jean Gabin, and many, many others. The Moulin Rouge closed once again in , but not because of any natural disaster like a fire. The Moulin Rouge around the time of its transformation into a cinema.
This constituted a significant shift in the Parisian cultural landscape, and the press took notice. Of course, other sound films from Hollywood had played in Paris and had not caused any trouble at all, so there was no reason to believe that Fox Folies would be any different. Not all progress, however, was necessarily for the better. In other words, residents of the eighteenth on the northern edge of the city might not be as sophisticated as those who went to the movies in more central, upscale locations, and might not be as ready, at least this early in the transition to sound, for a film with subtitles.
Le Figaro reported many of the details.
In the interest of fairness, the reporter for Le Figaro talked to the management at the cinema. I will stop now, honest.
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The problem is, that when one thinks up one of these things, and an opportunity arises, it is impossible not to share it! I would be very happy to see this page become the last resting-place for such creations. Hi David Crystal. I confess I stole this blog and and in the spirit of giving to Caesar now feel I must share some of my comments: aonghus said: Craveat Emptor - Beware of Foppish Men Peter said: Bun appetit Let them eat cake. De rustibus non est disputandum: We need to invest in public transport J'ackuse: I am changing a wheel Apres mai le deluge: An Irish summer Introibo ad altare deb: I'll try it on with some other society gal.
I love wordplay, and I'd never heard of this one. Michael Swan hasn't talked to me since I pointed out that his name is a rearrangement of "Welsh maniac". Of course not.