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Bataclan (theatre)

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Bataclan (theatre)

The Bataclan

Bataclan is a "salle de spectacle" at 50 boulevard Voltaire in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. It was built in 1864 by the architect Charles Duval. Its name refers to Ba-Ta-Clan, an operetta by Offenbach, but is also wordplay on the expression le tout bataclan (the whole caboodle; oldest written source is a journal entry of 11 Nov 1761 by Favart, predating Offenbach). The nearest métro stations are Oberkampf on Line 5 and Line 9 and Filles du Calvaire on Line 8.


The Bataclan originated as a large café-concert in the Chinoiserie style, inspired by Chinese architecture, with the cafe and theatre on the ground-floor, and a large dance hall at first floor level. It put on the vaudevilles of Scribe, Bayard, Mélesville, and Dumersan, as well as giving concerts.

The establishment headed by Monsieur Paris opened its doors on 3 February 1865. It was bought by the singer Paulus in 1892. In the course of the following years, the building saw good and bad luck alike, due to many changes of owner, with the new fashion after 1910, thanks to a restoration of the auditorium and a programme dedicated solely to revues, especially those put on by José de Bérys. It was here that Maurice Chevalier saw his first successes. Intoxicated by this success, the Bataclan's troupe toured big shows abroad to South America, which proved financially disastrous.

In 1926 the auditorium was sold and transformed into a cinema, only to be the victim of a fire in 1933. The original building was partially destroyed in 1950 to conform it to the new security measures then in force. In 1969, the cinema closed and the auditorium again became a "salle de spectacle".

The Bataclan is known today for a very eclectic programme of events, including rock and pop concerts, "spectacles", stand-up comedy, discos and café-théâtre. Its façade was repainted in its long-lost original colours in 2006, though its original pagoda roof no longer exists.


  • This page is a translation of its French equivalent.
  • BataclanOfficial Website -

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