Grand Rex

1 Boulevard Poissonniere,
Paris 75002

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Le Grand Rex (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Gaumont France

Architects: Auguste Bluysen, Maurice Dufrene, John Adolph Emil Eberson

Functions: Concerts, Movies (Film Festivals), Movies (First Run)

Styles: Art Deco, Atmospheric, Moorish

Previous Names: Rex Theatre Jacques Haik, Rex

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 33089.268.0596

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News About This Theater

2013 interior

The biggest movie theatre still operating in Paris, the Grand Rex opened on 8th December 1932 with “Les Trois Mousquetaires”(The Three Musketeers) starring Aime Simon-Girard, Henri Rollan & Thomy Bourdelle. It was built for independent operator Jacques Haik, who already operated the 5,000 seat l'Olympia music hall, and was the man who made Charlie Chaplin famous in France. In 1933 it was taken over by the Gaumont circuit who operated it until 1941, when it was taken over by the German Nazi occupiers and it became a Soldatenkino, for the use of German troops on leave. It was damaged by a bomb in September 1942 and remained closed until its reopening on 13th October 1944 during the Liberation of Paris.

The Rex Theatre Jacques Haik was designed by architect Auguste Bluysen in an Art Deco style, both externally and in its foyers, dance hall and restaurant areas. The Atmospheric/Moroccan style auditorium was the work of architect/interior decorator Maurice Dufrene, styled in collaboration with noted American theatre architect John Eberson. Originally seating was planned for 3,700, but was reduced to 3,300-seats on orchestra, mezzanine and balcony levels. It is in a perfect shape a big screen called “The Grand Large”, a screen on the stage within the proscenium that can be removed. It is used for some movies and as a tradition every Christmas a Disney movie is screened with a pre-show real waterfall and light-show on stage.

The original ‘Le Grand Rex’ auditorium with its 2,750-seats remains the largest single movie auditorium in Europe. It now hosts live concerts, with some film use for star-studded premieres and first runs.

In November 1974, three screens 1-3, were added in the space of the former basement ballroom which have seating for 304, 350 and 85. In 1983, four screens 4-7, were added in the next building (a former shoe warehouse) which seat 200, 235, 100 and 150. Films are always presented in their French versions.

In 2004, a new project for 12 screens and a remodelling keeping the main auditorium intact was planned, but by 2009, this had been abandoned. Since 1988 many films screened in the original auditorium are now screened on a huge screen named “The Great Large” which drops down from the ceiling in front of the proscenium arch. The Grand Rex was renovated in 2017.

There is an additional attraction in the basement called “Les Etoiles du Rex”. Looking like a Euro Disney attraction, which took you on a ‘self conducted’ backstage tour which described the history of the theatre and the movies with plenty of thrills and special effects. This 45 minute experience reopened as the Rex Studios on 1st January 2022. On 9th June 2021 another space in the lower basement opened as an Escape Room attraction.

During closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic beginning in March 2020, the Grand Rex was given a total renovation beginning in December 2020 and was completed in June 2021. The original auditorium now has 2,702-seats. The additional 6-screens have seating for: 500, 262, 210, 155, 125 & 100.

90 minutes Guided Tours of the entire building are held at 10am on Sunday mornings, taking visitors into the foyer, onto the stage, up into the two balconies and outside onto the roof. The tour guides speak in French and tickets must be pre-booked online.

On October 5 1981, le Ministere de la Culture added Le Grand Rex to the list of historic monuments.

Contributed by Xavier Delamare

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

HowardBHaas on October 2, 2007 at 12:39 pm

In 1996, I saw Mission Impossible in the huge auditorium with the huge screen lowering in front of the proscenium. This was a showing when the movie was new, and in English. The place was packed. The French rushed in for seats. I ended up at the top of the balcony, but it didn’t matter. The auditorium is one of the best anywhere to see a movie.

Website about it!


Exterior tower:

Auditorium- Now that’s a movie theater!

View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 20, 2008 at 11:30 am

Le Gran Rex was requisitioned by the German’s during World War II and operated as a German soldier’s cinema.

SethLewis on February 14, 2009 at 12:01 am

This is still a great place to see an “event” movie whether on the full screen or “grand large” with the screen dropping down onto the proscenium. When the lights are finally dimmed, you can still make out some of the features of the balconies and are really transported somewhere. Saw Miami Vice and Apocalypto there and the experience was not dissimilar to seeing a great action or blaxploitation picture in the 70s or 80s in say the Criterion or Rivoli. No the neighborhood isn’t one of Paris' best but it is still Paris.
Regret having missed Neil Young live there but bless the French for landmarking it

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 10, 2009 at 7:21 am

A vintage postcard view of the Atmospheric style auditorium:

irishcine on August 21, 2009 at 1:44 am

“ There is an additional attraction called "Les Etoiles du Rex”, looking like a Euro Disney attraction, which takes you on a ‘self conducted’ backstage tour…"

While this tour is somewhat geared to the teenage kicks and thrills market, it is still worth doing.This attraction embraces some history, film clips, mock participation in special effects etc. It does not visit the theatre auditorium at all, but you do have an all too brief view of it, backward from the glass walled lift that rises from behind the stage to the attraction level which sems to be mainly in the ceiling void. There is no view of the stage or proscenium arch. There is also a display of projection equipment in a box type location, – though this is of course now placed at the “wrong” end of the cinema.

woody on September 25, 2009 at 1:13 pm

typically on the day i visited the Rex tower was covered in scaffolding for renovation work on the exterior
so i bought a postcard showing it at its artistic best
the side door entry to the “Les Etoiles du Rex” with its great deco sign
and the main downstairs lobby and paybox

AdoraKiaOra on January 16, 2010 at 9:18 pm

The Rex Tour is one of the most awful I have ever experienced in all my tour visits around the world. It provides absolutely no access to the theatre itself, not even a stroll thru the lobby area.
You don’t see the auditorium, all you get is a dreadful very cheap Disney like interactive load of rubbish!
A total waste of €10. If my French was any better I would have asked for management and demanded a refund.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 29, 2012 at 5:49 am

Here’s something interesting from the April 10, 1932, issue of The Film Daily:


“Alexandre Mercil, chief draftsman for John Eberson, architect, has sailed on the Ile de France for an extended stay in Paris, where he will assume the duties of supervising the completion of Theatre Poissonniere in Paris which Eberson has designed for Etablissements Jacques Haik. This theater is scheduled to open within the next four months. It seats 3,000 and is one of the major theater operations in Paris.”

If Eberson had little to do with designing this theater other than to inspire its actual architect, why did he send his chief draftsman off to Paris to oversee its completion? It sounds like more of a collaboration to me. The article about Bluysen on French Wikipedia says he designed “Cinéma Le Grand Rex, à Paris (1932), en collaboration avec l'ingénieur John Eberson.” Even acting as engineer, Eberson would probably have had considerable input on the design of the building.

Koistinen on March 6, 2013 at 2:06 am

Exterior photos of Le Grand Rex from July 2012.

execelsior on October 8, 2014 at 7:39 pm

There is NOTHING wrong with the area where the Grand Rex is! It is part of the Grands Boulevards where people go to spend evenings.

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