As we previously wrote on the blog, the Théâtre du Châtelet (Chatelet Theatre) dating from the 1860s has just reopened after two and a half years of renovation.
Thanks to Open House weekend last weekend, we were able to go and see the theatre in all in new splendour for ourselves. Check out the photos of our visit!
It took quite a bit of time to renovate the Théâtre du Châtelet. We went there just before it closed, and it was looking a little tatty, it has to be said.
A listed building, a crowdfunding campaign was launched in 2017 to find over €75.000 for the restoration. It didn’t reach its goals (‘only’ 43,000€ was raised), but the amount was probably welcomed nonetheless by the Paris city council, who owns the building.
Now, the theatre – renowned for its musicals and other shows – looks brand new. It’s bigger, safer, and (at last) totally wheelchair accessible.
The details of the restoration project (in French) can be consulted at the bottom of this article. Let’s see what’s been done…
The Grand Foyer
New wallpaper with a ‘nature’ motif has been applied here, in line with the original design, the parquet floor has been renovated and the woodwork returned to its natural colour.
The Adami Galler
Running on from the Grand Foyer, on the street side, the ceiling and floor of this long gallery have both been renovated. More importantly, two metal staircases (added at the end of the 19th century which then had their upper part cut off in 1979) have been removed, restoring the original dimensions to the space.
We were taken by the coloured plastic stuck to the windows, like giant stained-glass windows. Very impressive.
The Nijinski Terrace
At the top of the theatre, the terrace’s allegorical statues (Dance, Drama, Comedy and Music) had disappeared at the end of the 19th century. Thanks to the campaign of renovation, they are now back in place.
This work was supervised by the Conservation Régionale des Monuments Historiques (DRAC Ile-de- France) and Architecte des Bâtiments de France.
By the way, there are great views from here. The Théâtre de la Ville is opposite, there’s the column on place du Châtelet, Notre-Dame, the Saint-Jacques Tower…
When going back inside, there’s a room that’s still being decorated. A work in progress…
The auditorium has seen a few changes over the years. In 1980 the orchestra pit and stage floor were renovated, and new seats were installed in the auditorium, in 1989 a new stage curtain was introduced and in 1999 the scene-changing mechanism was modernised.
In the lates round of work, a few extra seats have been added (thanks to space freed up by the removal of the two staircases we mentioned earlier) and there’s more space to accommodate wheelchair users.
It’s a beautiful space that we love for the lighting, the gold leaf and the painted cherubs right up top that we were able to admire thanks to the mega zoom on our new camera…
Why try booking a show at the Théâtre du Châtelet for your next visit to Paris? We have a special fond spot for Un Américain à Paris that’s back for a triumphant return starting 28th November…
The Théâtre du Châtelet is here
Click here to see which shows are coming this season
To check out the details of the restoration project (in French) simply click the fullscreen button at the bottom right of the image below.