Le Lido

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This article is about the Lido in Paris. For other Lidos, see Lido (disambiguation).
"Lido Theatre" redirects here. For other uses, see Lido Theatre (disambiguation).
Le Lido
Le Lido.jpg
Address 116 Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Coordinates 48°52′20.50″N 2°18′2.02″E / 48.8723611°N 2.3005611°E / 48.8723611; 2.3005611
Type Cabaret
Capacity 1150
Opened June 20th 1946,[1] current location since 1977
Architect Peynet, Bartoccini and Veccia

The Lido is a cabaret and burlesque show located on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France. It opened in 1946, famous for its exotic shows including dance, singing and other performers.Famous names have performed there including: Edith Piaf, Siegfried and Roy,[2] Sylvie Vartan, Johnny Hallyday, Maurice Chevalier, Marlene Dietrich, Eartha Kitt, Josephine Baker, Kessler Twins, Elton John, Laurel & Hardy, Dalida, Shirley MacLaine,[3] Mitzi Gaynor, Juliet Prowse and Noël Coward. December 2, 2014, Le Lido closed its current version, Bonheur, and will open a new version April 2, 2015.[4] The new version was developed by Franco Dragone.


Founded by Joseph and Louis Clérico, Le Lido opened on June 20, 1946. Le Lido was preceded by an artificial beach in a townhouse basement in the 1920s, running as a nightclub/casino in the late night hours.

In 1955, after a visit by the entertainment director of the Stardust Resort and Casino, the Clérico brothers along with Donn Arden brought the Lido to the Stardust. This started a series of imports of Parisian cabaret shows to Las Vegas, Follies Bergeres to the Tropicana, Nouvelle Eve to El Rancho and Casino de Paris to the Dunes.[5] The Stardust edition of Le Lido closed in 1992.

Le Lido moved in 1977 to the Normandie on the Champs-Élysées.

In 2006, Sodexo, the international food service company, purchased Le Lido and has invested 24 million euro into developing its next show.[6]


Each version of Le Lido is made up of 10-20 scenes. The last version of the show, Bonheur, ran for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Two shows are run every day of the week.A pre-show dinner is offered with the first evening show of each day at an additional cost.

Le Lido opens with a "theme" scene featuring singers, and dancer which include the famous Bluebell Girls.[7] Also, a few featured dancers, showgirls and lead singers may be added. The Lido is known for its spectacular costumes featuring thousands of dollars in feathers and rhinestones, rich fabrics and top quality furs.

The opening scene welcomes the audience and sets the tone for the evening-it may also set the colour scheme for the show and will feature special effects and lighting. Music may be original or a medley of current popular songs mixed with music from Broadway or Hollywood films-often the opening number is a potpourri of styles and performers may change costumes several times. Between the production numbers specialty "vaudeville/cabaret" acts are featured, such as jugglers, acrobats or magicians.

At least one of the 3 or 4 scenes will feature water effects-another thing the lido is known for, as well as the stage itself which raises and lowers, changes back and forth into an ice rink or swimming pool and can feature elaborate set pieces which come up from below.

Scenes over the years have featured exotic themes like ancient Egypt, Aztecs and in the current version of the show (2014) "Bonheur", a Bollywood, Indian numbers features an elephant, show boys dressed as Ganesh the elephant god and dancing fountains.The closing number often features a number called "Merci Beaucoup" (featured in the television show Shirley Maclaine at The Lido de Paris) and usually has some particularly spectacular costumes.

Despite its reputation as a tourist mecca many locals, business people and celebrities can be found at the Lido.

Among the last of its kind The Lido has a special place in the history of nightclubs and floorshows and continues a tradition of the "haughty but nice" opulent production shows originally started by The Follies Bergeres.

Bluebell Girls[edit]

Margert with the Bluebell Girls in 1948

Founded by Margaret Kelly, also known as Miss Bluebell, the dancers of the Lido are known as the Bluebell Girls. Untill her retirement in 1986, each dancer were hand-selected by Kelly. They are now under the direction of Pierre Rambert.[7] The cast comes from all over the world, and are noted for their statuesque height, averaging a height of 5' 11".

It is interesting that while many of the performers in the shows are French a large number come from the UK and many of the tall statuesque "showgirls" who may top 6 feet without heels may come from South Africa and the USA.

With the fall of the Soviet Union a new breed of showgirls is coming from the Ukraine as well as classically trained dancers from many former Soviet Republics.

Production History[edit]

Every few years, Le Lido develops a new version of it's show. The show used to change more frequently, now each iteration may run for several years until the management feels it has run its course and a new production is called for. Each show can take millions of dollars to develop. The following are the titles of each show produced by the Le Lido:[8]

  • 1946 – Sans Rimes Ni Raisons
  • 1946 – Mississippi
  • 1947 – Made in Paris
  • 1948 – Confetti
  • 1949 – Bravo
  • 1950 – Enchantment
  • 1951 – Rendez-vous
  • 1953 – Voilà
  • 1954 – Desirs
  • 1955 – Voulez-vous
  • 1956 – C'est Magnifique
  • 1957 – Prestige
  • 1959 – Avec Plaisir
  • 1961 – Pour Vous
  • 1962 – Suivez-Moi
  • 1964 – Quelle Nuit
  • 1966 – Pourquoi Pas?
  • 1969 – Grand Prix
  • 1971 – Bonjour La Nuit
  • 1972 – Grand Jeu
  • 1977 – Allez Lido
  • 1981 – Cocorico
  • 1985 – Panache
  • 1990 – Bravissimo
  • 1994 – C'est Magique
  • 2003 – Bonheur (closed December 2, 2014)
  • 2015 – TBA (opens April 2, 2015)[4]

Media Featuring Le Lido[edit]

Shirley Maclaine at the Lido (1979) produced by Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion – Nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Program.[3]

The Bluebell Girls were featured in a 1960 episode of Close-Up, a Canadian TV show broadcast on the CBC

Numerous clips of several of the shows of the last 20 years and even full videos of all the production numbers from some editions are available on YouTube.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Founders". Lido.fr. Le Lido. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Siegfried and Roy at Lido de Paris". Youtube. Youtube. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Shirley Maclaine at the Lido". IMDB. Amazon.com inc. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Lido". Le Lido. Le Lido. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Lido at the Stardust". Digital Collections at UNLV. UNLV. 
  6. ^ "SODEXO INVESTIT 25 MILLIONS DANS LA REFONTE DU LIDO". Hospitality on think tank. 
  7. ^ a b Gentlemen, Amelia. "Founder of Bluebell Girls dies at 94". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Former Shows". Le Lido. Le Lido. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 

External links[edit]