Gaumont-Pathe will open the new five-screen complex, Cinema les Fauvettes, which will be exclusively dedicated to screening classic films, next spring.
Paris is unique in the world, in that it has so many film theaters dedicated to classic films, many located in the Latin Quarter.
The main novelty of the complex is that it is a brand new infrastructure, with five screens equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
Cinema les Fauvettes is located in Paris’ Gobelins district which is also fast becoming a hub for classic films. It lies across the street from the Jerome-Seydoux-Pathe Foundation, dedicated to silent cinema, that opened in September.
The new site will specialize in freshly restored films, covering a very broad spectrum of genres, countries and periods, spanning from silent classics through to relatively recent pics such as “Avatar.”
“It’s a major new complex dedicated to classic films. We’re not aware of any comparable structure in the world,” said Natalie Vrignaud, the cinema’s manager.
The former Gaumont Gobelins cinema has been given a complete overhaul, including a glass atrium, a small garden and a bar in the centre.
The cinema’s original name – dating from the beginning of last century – has also been recovered in the process. Project’s architect is Françoise Raynaud, with Jacques Grange responsible for interior decoration. The façade has been designed by digital artist Miguel Chevalier. All screens have 4K projectors; there is also one screen with a traditional 35mm projector. The cinema aims to build a community of loyal viewers interested in classic films, above all amongst regular filmgoers.
“We don’t aim to emulate the French Cinemathèque and we also won’t use the CNC [French film board]’s definition of heritage films, which are films more than 20 years old,” explained Vrignaud.
“Our objective is to tap into the rising audience interest in films that are no longer in their first release run, but that people still want to see on the big screen.”
The films to be screened at the complex won’t solely be from the catalogs of Gaumont and Pathe. They will also be sourced from U.S. majors and independent distributors and selected on the basis of programming objectives, which span three main strands: Restored films, themed cycles and one-off rendezvous.
Cinema Les Fauvettes thus aims to become the privileged platform in Paris for showcasing the latest restored titles, including both French and foreign titles, that can be launched as event films.
“Over recent years, there have been an increasing number of magnificent film restorations,” Vrignaud said. “We aim to be able to show such works in the best possible screening conditions, in terms of the quality of the film projection, the sound system and general viewer comfort.”
In parallel, the complex will program themed cycles dedicated to specific genres, actors or directors.
Finally, the site will also host one-off meetings in which people related to a specific film will talk about one or more projects – e.g. a director, actor, journalists etc. These events may also include special movie-themed entertainment activities.
The official opening date of Cinema Les Fauvettes has yet to be confirmed, given that this depends on building works, but it is scheduled to dovetail with next May’s Cannes Festival – either just before or just after Cannes.