Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Open Air Movie Theater


We don't have drive-in theaters in Paris but, during summer, we have "Le cinéma en plein air de la Villette" (open air movie theater of La Villette). For only 2 € - plus 5 € if you rent a lounge chair and a blanket! - you can see good old classics (mostly American and French). It's very nice to go there with friends and have a picnic before the movie starts (around 10:30 when it gets really dark, for obvious reasons... Check the complete program (in French) here.

47 comments:

  1. Excuse me, but are you sure this isn't in Tokyo? What a good idea!

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  2. Just checked out the schedule. What an interesting mix of films they're showing, and don't I wish I could be there to see them. Sigh.

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  3. How fun! When I was growing up, there were several drive in theatres around here, but now there is only one remaining. I haven't been there in years. Our Park District includes movies in the park as part of its summer programming. How great it is to sit outside and enjoy the summer evening while you watch a film!

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  5. Hey! Our friend and PDP picnic attendee Katia gave me a tour of the Villette park and I saw this, though I didn't know they showed outdoor movies. What fun.

    My buddy Craig just showed "Paris Blues" in his back yard on Saturday: 16mm film, three reels, which he loads on two alternating projectors.

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  6. It seems so nice. The place to go. The films to see!
    Film japonais à l'affiche?! Great.

    Alexa, Gf! High five. What do you want to add to the crown?

    Jeff, say hi to Craig for me/us, please!

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  7. Eric, this looks like great fun! Takes me back to my high school days and the drive-in theaters. We'd make popcorn on the stove (no micro then), dump it in one large brown grocery bag spotted with butter, hop in my friend's '68 Camaro and zip to an outdoor show. We thought we were on top of the world. Yes, we really did stuff the trunk to sneak in a few friends too...until the theaters got wise and started checking trunks. However, I don't recall the movie line-up being as fab as this one at La Villette...unless you count Vincent Price "B" horror movies in that mix. ;-)Would love to be there. Don't see too many outdoor movie theaters anymore. Mostly, MEGA-CINEPLEXES with not much character.

    Alexa...you rule! What New York flair will you add to the crown?

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  8. Woohooo Alexa - congratulations! : )

    Just checked out the schedule -- and, oh, how much I'd love to be there to see a film on a Paris summer night. They screen movies in my town on summer Saturday nights in one of our parks, but they're all PG for families. So, not the range you have here, but, still, pleasant.

    Coincidentally, though, I just saw one of the films screening in Paris - Qui ha peur de Virginia Woolfe - for the first time this weekend and was blown away, especially by Elizabeth Taylor. I almost couldn't believe it was her - I'd never seen her go anywhere even close to the places she went in that movie. If you can find it, there were two discs in the set with lots of extras and it was really interesting.

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  9. How very fun! We don't have the drive in movie theaters around here any more, but we do have the movies in the park on Summer nights! (I have to admit I've never been to one as they start after 10:30 here as well!)

    Hope you get to go and enjoy a movie outside sometime this summer!

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  10. That's really cool. IF I ever succeed in living in Paris, which is my current goal, I will have to talk some Parisians into taking me there some night.

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  11. Movies in the park - we have them on the lake front (Lake Michigan) in Grant park. Grant park is where the Art Institute is located. A fun way to spend a summer evening with friends.

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  12. I love the character of the iron work, the cobble stone, & the red of the sign. It makes a very nice composition, Eric.

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  13. coltrane -- what am I adding to the crown? what goes with la reine Guille's sprig of lavender, silver bottle of pastis, and golden olives?? I'm adding a big, bright golden Provencal sun! (I'm the Sun Queen, Louise XIV)

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  14. All hail Queen Louise - like all those who went before you, your realm may be ephemeral but your legacy will linger on!

    PS - Watch out for your hair, that Sun will probably start what's left of the paper streamers smoldering....but, just use a little of your magical pastis from the hand wrought sterling bottle made by the finest artisans and you won't get singed (plus its always a good excuse to make sure the pastis still tastes ok). ; }

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  15. I remember a film I was watching once, and there was this scene at night, and a movie was being projected on the side of a building outside, and everyone in the town was sitting outside in the street/square on chairs watching it. It was a small town. It was a very cool scene. It is an Italian film, released in 1988 "Cinema Paradiso" [sp?]. It's PG film so Caltrane your girls could watch it too. My daughter was 7 at the time.

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  16. Queen Louise, la reine du soleil, so you wish your royal subjects to revolve around you like the planets, eh? ;-) I am glad you went with the Sun and didn't try to wrap the GF crown in Yayoi Kusama's polka dots. Stay away from her polka dots...they sent her to a mental hospital. We certainly don't want our Queen Louise XIV to end up there. We want her to keep her head. <:-)

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  17. Lois..."Cinema Paradiso" is a fantastic Italian film. Thanks for the reminder. Since we're talking Provence these days (ie Guille and Alexa), Marcel Pagnol's "La gloire de mon pere" et "La Chateau de ma mere" also spring to mind. Certainly classics.

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  18. an open air cinema in the middle of beautiful paris. wow. wish i can visit paris again one of these days.

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  19. Oh, thanks for reminding me of that Eric, definitely gotta get there, maybe next weekend, if the Paris weather behaves.

    Mr. Darnell, of course you can live in Paris - it's all in the mind, you know. Your artistic spirit will fly, I guarantee it!

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  20. Coltrane, you know these films?! Didn't know that it was famous overseas! The books are pleasant too, and my favorite Pagnol is 'Jean de Florette'...
    I cried a lot by reading these works.

    Reine Alexa, yes! A big sun. Still 102°F here. :)

    I wish I could see a movie outside...

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  21. I just went to a big "outdoor movie" party - the trend in Michigan is hoisting a sheet and projecting the movie on it. I love to be outside at night - movies, the symphony, pop concerts...

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  22. Eric, I hope you had or will have time to check out the exhibit by Yayoi Kusama in the Villette pavilion. I stumbled on it by accident during a jog in the park and I loved it. I'd love to see what sort of PDP you can uncover there!

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  23. Drive-in's are a historic gem! Wish we still had them....

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  24. Guille...I would like to think that more than a handful of Americans know the Pagnol movies and books. However, I think the younger generation (raised on action movies and Red Bull)probably would find the movies too slow to keep their interest. There is an innocence in the films that most likely would be lost on them too. Oh, and heaven forbid that they would have to watch films with English subtitles. I hope that I am wrong, but I think "action and teen idols rule the day" in the land of Mylie Cyrus.
    BTW..."Jean de Florette" is a beautifully-executed film. I can understand why it is one of your favorites. I've got that one on VHS tape. Must now look for it on DVD.

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  25. Guille -- coltrane is so right; most young people wouldn't have the patience for Pagnol. And yes, "Jean de Florette" and also "Manon des Sources" are certainly classics. There's even a marked hiking trail, in the garrigues around Marseille and Aubagne, that's known as the "Circuit Pagnol." I'd love to take that walk (only maybe not in August).

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  26. Coltrane, that's the same in France unfortunately. I'm pretty sure that young people would say that Pagnol is boring, slow and 'prise de tête' (too complicated). Quelle erreur!
    To me all the Pagnol's are the films/books of my childhood.
    And what about 'Manon des sources'!

    You could find them with English subtitles on Ebay.

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  27. Alexa,how do you know that?! I'm the French girl who spent all her holidays between Avignon and Carpentras and didn't know that! LOL
    I will take a look to it.

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  28. Jean de Florette, Manon des Sources. I can watch these gooey films again and again just to see Yves Montand!

    Really great post, Eric. The link to parc la Vilette is my French lesson for the day. Bien fait! ;>)

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  29. Sounds like a much more relaxing way to catch a movie! Wish we had one of those.....

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  30. "Jean de Florette" and also "Manon des Sources" unforgetable films -- looks like we all agree on that!

    Coltrane, sorry I spelled you name wrong. I've been taking CalTrain to Silicon Valley this last month and I guess I have Caltraine on the brain ;-)

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  31. I hope you will be able to attend one of the showings. My vote is for Gilda!

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  32. Oooohhh -- how I love the films of Marcel Pagnol -- and I'm so entranced to hear that the youth of Paris (or at least one youth of Paris who demonstrates incredibly sophisticated taste!) loves them, too. Apart from the films already mentioned, I especially love the 1938 original of La Femme du Boulanger (do not rent the remake with Demi Moore). The Fanny trilogy is also a wonderful dive into the world of 1930's Marseille with universal themes that for me resonate completely in today's world.


    (Just to say -- I realize I've now done the thing that a few days ago I said I dislike about political opinions: when someone says that people who like something that person likes are brilliant, sophisticated, etc., thus leaving those with a different sensibility to feel pretty dissed. So, I want to hereby remedy that and say, each to his own, live and let live and I know that there are many smart and intuitive people out there who might just totally dislike these films. So, I apologize and instead say: try the films and see if you like them!)

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  33. Lois...you are forgiven. ;-) I actually think that "Caltraine" is an understandable and funny slip up. I hope the ride to the Valley has been as pleasant as listening to Coltrane's "Blue Train." Do you think Coltrane ever caught the CalTrain? BIDDA BOOM!

    Guille...how fortunate to have spent your summers in Provence. You can say that you have lived half your life in heaven.

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  34. Carrie, Merci! I will check them out. (No need to apologize -- no offence taken -- not even remotely)

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  35. Provence and Paris -- heaven on earth.

    I was just talking to the man in the next cube; and he told me the only time he was in Paris was in a Paris suburb -- industrial looking. I told him he really missed out.

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  36. I had an idea not long ago, and, it might be a lot of work to maintain, and, I don't know how one would set it up on the computer, being ordinateur-challenged, (and run-on sentence challenged!) but wouldn't it be lovely to have a site that was like a reference library of films, books, art and resources regarding France? People could go on and select a category (of course it would automatically alphabetize the entries and reject any that were already there!) and enter works of art or browse and be able to get names to check into. And, of course it would be set up to reject people trying to use it as advertising.....oh there are so many problems, I can see already, but wouldn't it be lovely?

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  37. Coltrane, "BIDDA BOOM!" merci

    Carrie, Lovely idea; that's how things happen. Keep dreaming :)

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  38. Coltrane: do you take the A Train?

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  39. Cali...now that's one I didn't see coming. Excellent! :-)

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  40. Coltrane "However, I don't recall the movie line-up being as fab as this one at La Villette...unless you count Vincent Price "B" horror movies in that mix. ;-) LOOOOOL!

    Nikon "I love the character of the iron work, the cobble stone, & the red of the sign. It makes a very nice composition, Eric." Thank you. Actually the whole building is great. But I don't have a wide angle wide enough to take everything at once...

    Lois. ""Cinema Paradiso"" ahhhh, the great Cinema Paradiso. super film.

    David. "I hope you had or will have time to check out the exhibit by Yayoi Kusama in the Villette pavilion." No I did not, but you comment makes me feel like doing so. Maybe next weekend.

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  41. We have open air cinema during summer here too!

    You know what, I think Rio and Paris have more in common than it appears at first!


    From Cali and Chere Guille: a big HI for you!!!!

    Rose: se vc estiver no Brasil dê notícias!!!

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  42. I'm Beginning to see the Light after hanging around PDP, Coltrane.

    Hi Monica. Hope you get to see Rose soon.

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  43. *shhh**it's almost time**wonder if n. america will slip in before the europeans**shhh**stay quiet**almost there**refresh-refresh*

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  44. Guille -- I'm not really sure how I knew that, but my cousin was the consul at the American embassy in Marseilles a few years ago, so I might have heard it from him. You are so lucky to spend summers where you do!

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