Paris is an undeniably cinematic city. So it might seem backward, wasteful even, to spend a few hours of a visit there shuttered inside a dark movie theater. But Paris is one of the undisputed capitals of film, and time spent in one of its cinemas is time spent exploring a rich side of the city’s culture and history.
If Paris looks like a movie set, many of its theaters are no exception, distancing themselves from generic multiplex chains. Regaled old beauties like the palatial Grand Rex, which was built by the French producer who brought Charlie Chaplin to France, still thrive. Small art-house cinemas decked in traditional red velvet, such as Studio 28, can be found in corners of nearly every arrondissement.
And in the last several years, a new wave of theaters has popped up that gives moviegoers an opportunity to appreciate film through the lens of modern luxury and nostalgia. Director Luc Besson’s new EuropaCorp Cinémas at Aéroville serves action movies with a side of caviar, while the Katara Cinéma at Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris provides its guests with the quiet of a semiprivate screening room (plus buttery leather seats).
Here, 11 excellent places to take in the Seventh Art while you’re in Paris.