The 3 lives of Théâtre Le Ranelagh

Few places can boast such a rich history – or one with so many twists and turns. Successively a music hall, a cinema and then a theatre over its 122 years, Le Ranelagh is a unique venue with exceptional acoustics.

Situated in the heart of the chic 16th arrondissement on the site of the old Boulainvilliers castle, Le Ranelagh was founded by Louis Mors, an automobile constructor with a passion for music.

In 1895, Louis Mors created a music hall within his private mansion to house his collection of old musical instruments. The room was designed in Flemish Renaissance style, decorated with intricately carved oak panellings and six bronze statues, and in 1900, it hosted the first performance in France of Wagner’s Das Rheingold.

More concerts followed, as well as the comic operas of Claude Terrasse up until the death of Louis Mors in 1917.

The theatre then remained abandoned for over a decade, and the main part of the mansion house was destroyed in 1930 to make way for new buildings. But, somehow, the music hall was spared the same fate.

Le Ranelagh was reborn a year later, in 1931. The venue was extended and transformed into an art-house cinema with 300 seats. It was perfect timing for France’s burgeoning 1930s cinema scene. From the iconic actor Gérard Philippe to the directorial talents of Marcel Carné and Jean Renoir, the Golden Age of French cinema was showcased at Le Ranelagh.

The theatre then hosted exhibitions, plays and even a circus!

Today, Le Ranelagh has returned to its origins, with a programme centred on theatre and music.

During ‘Showtime in Paris’, you can discover – or rediscover – two great classics of French literature: Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand and The Miser by Molière.

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