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10 Magical Movie Theaters in Paris

Cinema La Pagode in 1977 [1]
Cinema La Pagode in 1977, by Guerinf/ Wikipedia

One fail-safe way to escape summer heat is by dipping into an air-conditioned movie theater. Fortunately, Paris has many delightful (and chilled) cinemas to offer.

There are mainstream and off-the-beaten track theaters in various pockets of the city, so have your favorite theater picked out for when temperatures begin to soar.

French New Wave film director Jean Luc-Godard proclaimed: “All you need for a movie is a gun and a cat.” There’s no telling if one or both of these elements will be seen on your cinema visit, but nonetheless, it’ll be a pleasant way to spend a couple hours in a dark, cool theater.

Parc de la Villette – Cinema en Plein Air. This is the best location to see an outdoor film in summer. Best of all – it’s free! The drawback: no air-conditioning. However, the venue welcomes picnic spreads, beverages, and large groups. Films run all summer and the schedule may be viewed here [2].

211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019

Parc de Villette, ciné en plein ai [3]
Parc de Villette, ciné en plein air, via French Ministry of Culture

UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles [4] This is the place to see summer blockbusters. Several years ago, I went to this theater to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The atmosphere was one of excitement and energy, due to the many people who flock to this theater. The surrounding mall is a great place for a pre-show stroll.

7 Place de la Rotonde, 75001

Centre Georges Pompidou Cinema [5] Centre Pompidou is worth a visit on its own merit, but if you’re in the mood to see a film, it happens to be a great venue for that too. This cinema hosts festivals, director tributes, student films, and other arty fare. It’s a unique experience from first to last.

Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004

La Pagode [6]
La Pagode

La Pagode [7]. This is a Parisian favorite. The gorgeous exterior of the theater, which is found in the 7th arrondissement, is worth taking a peek at, even if you’re just passing by. This one-of-a-kind independent cinema is known for its beautiful garden and Japanese design. The building was built in 1896, so it boasts quite the history as well. Editor’s note: La Pagode is currently closed because of a landlord dispute.

57 Bis Rue de Babylone, 75007

Le Champo Cinema in Paris [8]
Le Champo by LPLT/ Wikipedia

Le Champo [9]. Joining La Pagode as a Paris favorite and a historic theater is Le Champo. Film premieres are sometimes held here, and the cinema offers an Old Hollywood vibe which cinephiles relish.

51 Rue des Ecoles, 75005

Cinema Les 3 Luxembourg [10]. This independent cinema established in the 60s was formerly a restaurant. It is conveniently situated right by Luxembourg Gardens.

67 rue Monsieur le Prince, 75006

Le Reflet Medicis [11]. Located in the Quartier Latin, this theater is nearby to Le Champo. English language features are frequently on the schedule, as are film noir classics.

3 Rue Champollion, 75005

MK2 Odéon [12]. This theater is nestled on the bustling Boulevard Saint-Germain. Dip in for mainstream flicks and a break from your shopping on Saint-Germain.

113 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006

Le Saint André des Arts [13]
Le Saint André des Arts

Le Saint André des Arts [14]. This independent theater, founded in the 70s, doesn’t just offer films. Here, there are scheduled “Meetings with the Director,” a series of talks with film professionals.

30 Rue Saint-André des Arts, 75006

Forum des Images-Cinéma au Clair de Lune [15]. This film event series can be found in parks and gardens throughout Paris. During hot summer months you will find famous, friendly faces staring at you from a gigantic screen, while you curl up on a blanket beneath the Paris moon. Check the website [15] for film listings and locations.

Une vie de chat [16]
“Une Vie de Chat” d’Alain Gagnol et Jean-Loup Felicioli/ Collection Christophel