Alhambra (Paris)

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Théâtre Art Déco des Cheminots (1920-1933)
Théâtre de l'Alhambra-1925.jpg
Facade of the Theatre in 1925
Address 21, rue Yves-Toudic
Coordinates 48°52′14″N 2°21′48″E / 48.8706°N 2.3633°E / 48.8706; 2.3633
Type Music hall
Capacity 600
Opened April 15, 2008

The Alhambra is a theatre which opened in April 2008 at 21, rue Yves-Toudic in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, 300 meters from the site of the old Alhambra-Maurice Chevalier.


The Alhambra occupies a building originally opened in 1920 by the Paris Fraternal Railway Association as a 600 seat theatre called the Théâtre Art Déco des Cheminots (Art Deco Theatre of the Railways).[1] The elaborate furnishings included beautiful mahogany doors, geometric chandeliers, and stucco pillars — surmounted all by a bas-relief of a locomotive.[2] The theatre, which had never been legally recognized as a theater by the Paris authorities, was converted to a commercial building in 1933,[3] but it still contained a drive-in theater reserved for railway workers. Unfortunately, this drive-in theater was rarely open.

In 2005 the quaint charm and history of the site captured the attention of theatrical producer Jean-Claude Auclair; he immediately bought the building with the intention of restoring it. Unfortunately, modern standards of safety, and the fact that the theatre had no acoustic insulation and no air conditioning forced Auclair to demolish much of the original structure and to rebuild it entirely.[3] Under the direction of architect Pascal Lépissier they created a completely soundproof auditorium inside a shell of concrete and steel, weighing 60 tons, and set on springs. It took two years and cost three million euros.[4]

The new theatre finally opened in 2008 and was named the Alhambra as a tribute to its famous former neighbor, the old Alhambra Maurice Chevalier.[2] The new Alhambra has faithfully continued the music hall tradition of the old one, with an eclectic array of performers[3] from the worlds of indie rock, jazz, punk rock, African American folk, rap, world music, heavy metal, garage band rock, pop—even manouche jazz.[5] Sadly, all that remains of the original Art Deco decor is a monumental staircase leading to the balcony.[2]


Entertainers who have performed at the Alhambra include:[6]


External links[edit]