Archive for May 19th, 2020

May 19, 2020

Le Louxor in Paris!!!

Actually walking around Paris you find many good interesting monument/buildings that otherwise you would miss. I just happened to walked all around the Montmartre area and without having to climb the hill came upon this cinema for the first time that was in renovations. The building struck me and came back later by car to see what was of it, and find out it turn out very nice indeed. Another historical building save in my eternal Paris. I like to tell you about it  the Luoxor cinema or cinema palace of Paris!

Le Louxor was inaugurated in 1921, its appearance lives up to its name; a neo-Egyptian façade highlighted by colorful mosaics with floral/exotic animal motifs greets filmgoers as they enter the renovated theater. At the time, it was one of the largest cinemas in Paris with just over 1,000 seats. While it originally screened French and American movies, the 1970s saw the cinema turn toward Indian and Arab films in keeping with the population of the neighborhood.  It was bought by the city of Paris in 2003, and reopened in April 2013, proof that the projection camera is not about to be shut off on the city’s film scene just yet.  

The Le Luoxor is a cinema located at no 170, boulevard de Magenta in the 10éme arrondissement, at the corner of bd de la Chapelle and bd de Magenta initially inaugurated on October 6, 1921. it was transformed into a nightclub in 1983. Closed in 1988 and abandoned, it finally reopened on 17 April 2013, completely renovated with three showing rooms. It was built on the site of the department store Sacré Coeur Nouveautés.   A rare survivor of pre-war cinemas, the Luoxor is a remarkable example of ancient architecture from the 1920s. The neo-Egyptian facade from which it takes its name in reference to the city of Luoxor and the multicolored mosaics on the facade were carried out in the 1920s. In addition to the floral motifs, beetles, cobras and, above the small terrace, a large winged disc. The room with its two balconies then offers 1,195 seats.

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After the cinema closed there were first a Caribbean nightclub called La Dérobade, it became in August 1987 the largest gay nightclub in Paris under the name of Megatown, it closed in 1988. From then on the building was abandoned. The Luoxor Palace of cinema then experienced a long eclipse.

Group association and the city renovated and brought it back after attempts for a Tati discount store failed and it reopened as a cinema on April 17, 2013. The partial restitution of the large room, bearing the name of Youssef Chahine, and its decor, the creation of two new rooms in the basement, room no 2, baptized Juliet Berto-Jean-Henri Roger evokes with its starry ceiling the tombs of the Valley of the Kings and room no 3 has a basket handle vault in red tones; A bar with Art Deco lights has also been installed. The Luoxor has returned to its original vocation as a cinema. An exhibition space and a café-club complete this building now.

And yes dedication by a determine group of city dwellers lovers of cinema and architectural history made it possible, Le Luoxor is back and I am glad for them. You have many ways to get here, first you got the usual Metro lines 2 and 4 at station Barbès-Rochechouart. My RATP bus lines 30, 31, 54, 56, and 85. The RER express trains D,E and B with stations at  Magenta, and Gare du Nord. The bike network VélibStation n° 9003 – Carrefour Barbès. For those road warriors like me there is a nice parking Goutte d’or, at 10-12 rue de la Goutte d’or 18éme.

Last September 2019 they showcase the films of the  l’ACID (Association du Cinéma Indépendant pour sa Diffusion) from the Festival de Cannes!   However,  I was there when it re opened in 2013! the picture is from that time. Nice indeed.

The official webpage for Le Luoxor is here in French: Cinema Le Luoxor

And the story on the friends of the Le Luoxor who worked for its survival Les Amis du Luoxor in French:  Friends of Luoxor on its history

So hopefully you can come at a time films are showing again and do try this one, worth the detour for its decoration. Hope you like the off the beaten path post on Paris,of course.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 19, 2020

Paris: Avenue de New York!

Well as a never ending end… I came back with another memorable street of my eternal Paris. I am amazed of the material in my vault of so many years hanging around my belle France. And surprise ,not written before on a street so dear to me and which spent many times in it. Oh well ,time to remedy all that on the Avenue de New York, Paris of course!

The Avenue de New-York located in the 16éme arrondissement. Its one of my fav avenue and surprise have not even posted anything on it so far. It is served by metro line 9 at Alma and Iéna stations some distance away and by the RATP bus line 72 stop at the Musée d’Art moderne – Palais de Tokyo. It is named after the city of New York in the United States.

A street I take several times by car coming from Versailles and entering Paris by the Porte Saint Cloud, the D910 or (D10 opposite is the Avenue de Paris in Versailles!) Continuing onto Ave de Versailles, and the crossing the Seine at places like the Pont Mirabeau ; Pont de Grenelle, Pont de Bir-Hakeim (see post), Pont d’Iéna, and passing passarelle Delbilly, and the Pont de l´Alma. This is part of the old Royal road from the Palace of Versailles to the Fortress of the Louvre.

A bit of history I like

The Avenue de New York has been named successively quai des Bonshommes because it bordered the convent of Bonshommes, then quai de la Conférence, quai de Chaillot and quai de la Savonnerie   because it ran alongside the Savonnerie soap factory established at the he location of the current Palais de Tokyo in an old soap factory in 1631 and transferred in 1825 to the Gobelins district, it took the name of quai de Billy and quai Debilly in 1807. In 1918, the quai Debilly was renamed avenue de Tokio, named after the capital of Japan whose spelling Tokio was the norm at the beginning of the century. Then on February 26, 1945, by decree, the avenue de Tokio took the name of Avenue de New-York. Recall that Japan was an ally of France during the Great War (WWI) , however, during WWII, this same Japan was the ally of Nazi Germany so replaced the capital of the enemy country with the city of New York from the United States who had just liberated France!. In addition, in 1964, the Quai de Passy, which extends the avenue de New-York downstream of the Seine, took the name avenue du Président-Kennedy which also refers to the United States. The palace of Tokyo, built for the 1937 Exposition, kept its name with its new spelling after 1945.

A bit on the configuration of this avenue and surroundings is useful to know from a historical and architectural basis I like

The Quai de Chaillot then Debilly stretched between the old Conference barrier, at the end of Cours la Reine, the fiscal limit for the rights for taxes of Paris from the mid-18C to the Passy barrier opened in 1788 in the wall of the Farmers General. From this date, the quay is included in the city of Paris with the whole of the old village of Chaillot up to the quay of Passy, current Avenue du Président-Kennedy, which was on the territory of the town of Passy until its annexation by the city of Paris in 1860 downstream of the Passy barrier, which was removed at that time. The part between rue de la Manutention and avenue Albert-de-Mun remains a little-built space until the middle of the 19C where a large Cail locomotive construction factory was set up, destroyed by a fire in 1865 which was not rebuilt. The land between avenue d’Iéna and the quay which belonged to the City of Paris in 1877 was then sold and subdivided with an easement limiting the height of the buildings on the quay of No 32 to 42 to 14.30 meters to preserve the view at the rear of the buildings on avenue d’Iéna. From Avenue Albert de Mun to rue Le Nôtre, the quay runs alongside a space that was part of the Visitation de Chaillot convent until 1790. Land sold as national property after 1790, purchased by the State from 1811 to 1813 for the abandoned project of the Palace of the King of Rome and sat   vacant until the Trocadero gardens were laid out in 1878. From rue Le Nôtre to rue Beethoven, the quay ran alongside the Couvent des Minimes or Bonshommes domain, at the bottom of which was built in 1788 the wall granting tax rights the corner of rue de la Montagne, now rue Beethoven, where was established the barrier of Passy, beyond the location of the current rue Le Nôtre to then follow, in the space of the current Trocadéro gardens, a direction perpendicular to the Seine river to the top of the hill of Chaillot. The wall was destroyed in 1860 and the land sold to the City of Paris which levelled it and then subdivided it in 1877 to create the rue Chardin and rue Le Nôtre, the southern part of the Trocadéro gardens and allow the construction of buildings on the quay at nos. 60 to 66, the existing ones dating from 1925 and the 1950s.

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Below this old quai Debilly or quay, the bank of the Seine still constitutes the Port Debilly and there is also a Passarelle Debilly footbridge allowing pedestrians to cross the river. The Avenue de New York   was crossed from 1855 by the American railroad, the first urban tramway line in France whose vehicles were towed by horses, which linked the Place de la Concorde to the Pont de Sèvres, then extended until Versailles. The Avenue de New York is not continuously bordered by a low quay because the passage between the relatively narrow Port Debilly and the upstream Port   de la Conferénce is interrupted under the Pont de l’Alma bridge. The Avenue de New York has two central level tracks with underground passages at the mouth of the bridges but also pedestrian crossings. This busy road, which does not however have a highway/motorway character on this section, is part of the Georges-Pompidou river banks connection road. The avenue has side streets with heavy traffic including fairly narrow bus-bicycle lanes and also narrow sidewalks, the one on the river side comprising a narrow one-way cycle path which cyclists can access, after a section of rue Le Nôtre at rue Beethoven and a crossing at the pedestrian crossing at this level, to the two-way cycle path that runs along the Voie Georges-Pompidou on the low quay or port de Passy to the limit of Boulogne-Billancourt.

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Nice buildings I like here are the No 4: home of Ambassador Pamela Harriman (USA but born in London), while she is in a relationship with the businessman Giovanni Agnelli (FIAT). It shows the presence of a History of Paris sign reminiscent of Chaillot’s fire pump. At No 10: home of landscape architects father and son Henri Duchêne and Achille Duchêne and of the latter’s wife, feminist and peace activist Gabrielle Duchêne. No 32: French Federation of Motor Sports. And No 34: Mona Bismarck American Arts Center, where the American socialite Mona Bismarck lived. French-American Foundation.( see post ,love the place).

My lunch needs were done at the Le New York 48 avenue de New York when in the area as frequent visitor to the American Arts Center, Mona Bismarck Foundation, old hanging out of the Franco-American community here.

The tourist office of Paris on the American Arts Center(see post ) : TOurist office of Paris on the American Arts Center

The tourist office of Paris on the Passarelle DebillyTourist office of Paris on Passarelle Debilly

A wonderful part of Paris to walk and even drive a car! as evidence by my many trips there. Walking of course, let you see more and we love it by there, so much to see as evidence by been in museum center in the rive droite of Paris. Hope you enjoy the walk in the Avenue de New York even if cannot be done totally as no sidewalks.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 19, 2020

Church Saint-Pierre-du-Gros-Caillou ,Paris!

And now in Paris, walking it and seeing many wonderful monuments off the beaten path. This is another dear area of mine and not enough pictures; I walked with the family several times, and voilà saw this one and why not, still need to see more but a wonderful souvenir of my walks with the family here.

The Church Saint-Pierre-du-Gros-Caillou is located at 92, rue Saint-Dominique in the 7éme arrondissement. A way of many walks by yours truly coming from the port de Suffren where we always went for events and gastronomy on the Seine river , Maxim’s boat. We then decided to take a walk and found ourselves passing this church.

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A bit of history I like

The Church of Saint-Pierre du Gros-Caillou, is a parish church in the quartier Gros Caillou . The story goes that when Gros-Caillou had become a fairly large neighborhood, they felt the need to build a branch there of the Church Saint-Sulpice , which was the parish of this neighborhood at the times. They took care of this project in 1652, but countless obstacles successively came to stop the works. Finally, in 1733, the foundation stone of this church was laid. Which was blessed under the title of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, and named by the inhabitants , Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Délivrance; it is however designated in the registers of the archbishopric under the name of Saint-Pierre-du-Gros-Caillou, branch of Saint-Sulpice. It was not entirely finished when the French revolution broke out and was then demolished. In 1822, a new church was erected on the same site and under the same name, which is beautifully simple with the first stone of the present church, was laid during the reign of king Louis XVIII and completed in 1826 on a plan inspired by the Roman basilicas. This antique style has been in vogue for the last decades of the Ancien Régime The Saint-Pierre-du-Gros-Caillou Church was enlarged with a side wing in 1905, then the axial chapel known as the Virgin in 1971.

There was an organ here circa 1850 nothing attest of one before and this one was sold in 1926. The organ was sadly in bad shape. A second organ was done circa 1925, but it too was demolished. The current organ was built in 1976, of neoclassical aesthetic.   There is a second organ in the Chapel built in 1972. The bell-tower shelters a ringing of 4 bells done in 1993; they were baptized on May 16, 1993. The names given are Clémence – 800 kilos; Constance- 445 kilos , Patience- 340 kilos and Prudence- 275 kilos. In the church is placed, on the ground, the old bell: Louise-Sophie 320 kilos done in 1826 and baptized on April 17, 1827.

The interior style of the Church of Saint Pierre du Gros Caillou is quite simple. You will see , however, the presence of some interesting paintings such as the Christ holding a child on his knees, 1840. Saint Pierre released from prison, 1834. and the most prominent done by Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre, Saint François meditating in solitude, Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. Finally, the Chapel of the Virgin has a rarity: a Stations of the Cross made up of a long series of tangled branches and twigs which stretches along the walls and dates from 1953.

Again no tourist webpage as this is really off the beaten path of Paris, the church has its own page in French here: Church St Pierre du Gros Caillou

And again, Paris Catholic parishes webpage including St Pierre du Gros Caillou in French: Catholic Paris on parishes including St Pierre du Gros Caillou

This is the wonderful way to walk Paris and see these off the beaten path monuments here, and they are many.  This is a nice area off the Avenue Bosquet (see post) ,the picturesque rue Cler, and walking straigh on Rue St Dominique you reach the marvelous lawns behind the Invalides, sublime walk.Hope you enjoy the Church Saint Pierre du Gros Caillou in my eternal Paris.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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