Cinema Le Champo
51 Rue des Ecoles,
1 person favorited this theater
Le Champo - Espace Jacques Tati (Official)
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Champollion
Le Champo is one of the famous art movie theatres of Paris.
Generations of students and cinema lovers even directors learnt about cinema going to the Champollion.
Opened on 22nd June 1938 in the center of the Latin Quarter at the ground floor of the building and replacing a bookstore, the Champollion had one screen and 150 seats. It is surrounded by universities.
In 1941 a fire destroyed the projection booth and it was decided to construct a new one in a very original way in a room beside the screen. The picture is reflected by a periscope on a mirror at the rear of the theatre and then projected on the screen.
In 1955, a small cabaret nightclub downstairs was converted to cinema showing 16mm prints. Named Actua Champo it is apart from the Champollion upstairs and there were two individual lobbies and cash boxes.
A major refurbishing in the 1980’s modernized the Champo, giving it a single cash box and lobby and two very comfortable auditoriums. The original No 1 screen was dedicated to Jacques Tati. Always a clever art movie programme, the future seemed safe.
Around 2000, the lease had to be renewed and the owner of the building intended to close the cinema in order to rent the building to a bank. Fortunately, a huge protest avoided this prospect. The Cinema Le Champo was designated a historic monument by the City of Paris and the facade of the cinema was renovated to its 1938 appearance.
At the end of 2012 the periscope projection system was retired when 2K digital projectors were installed, but happily one screen still retains its 35mm projection equipment so that films which have not been digitised can still be screened. There are now 120-seats in each auditorium.
Le Champo has a lovely internet site with a picture tour.
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.