Lido and Moulin Rouge of Paris!!!

Ok so these institution I have come very early on my visits to Paris, and as later came with young kids was absent from them for several years. Now looking forward to be back in Paris and one of the places to see at least once in your life or two if with young adults makes it necessary to be back. Eternal Paris of nighlty entertainment of cabarets Lido and Moulin Rouge of Paris!!!

I will give you some basic information and some historical anecdotes I like with the text taken from several publications including wikipedia for better explained these than I.

The Lido de Paris or simply the Lido is a cabaret located today at 116 bis avenue des Champs-Élysées 8éme. It was inaugurated in 1946 by Joseph and Louis Clerico, and the place became famous for its shows in which dancers, singers and various artists perform. The first show was done on June 20 1946 with a first review entitled “Sans rimes ni raison” or without rhyme or reason.

paris lido champs elysees c2013

Originally located, before WWII at 78 avenue des Champs-Élysées, the Lido is a place of entertainment and swimming for the privileged social classes. The decoration is inspired by Venice and its famous Lido beach, which enjoyed great vogue during the Belle Époque under the name “La Plage de Paris” or the Paris beach.

Some of the famous here were Édith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Joséphine Baker, the Kessler sisters, Laurel and Hardy, Dalida, Shirley MacLaine and Elton John, who had performed on the cabaret stage. Margaret Kelly, nicknamed “Miss Bluebell” because of the color of her eyes, founded the Bluebell Girls in 1932, which joined the Lido in 1948. These dancers were all trained in classical dance, but were considered too tall. for a ballet troupe.

Paris lido cabaret on champs elysees c1995

The Lido was expanded in 1977 higher up on the Champs-Élysées in the Normandie building, at the current address 116 bis avenue des Champs Elysées with over 6,000 m2 of surface area. A panoramic room without beams on two levels with 1,150 seats. In 2009, Sodexo became a 100% shareholder after the definitive withdrawal of Clérico.

This site is accessible by: metro line 1 George V and RER A Charles de Gaulle-Etoile

The official Lido webpage in English :

The Paris tourist office on the Lido de Paris

The Moulin-Rouge is a cabaret founded in 1889 by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler, who already owned the Olympia. It is located on 82 Boulevard de Clichy in the 18éme arrondissement of Paris, at the foot of the Butte Montmartre. It is the oldest and most famous of the Parisien cabarets.


On October 6, 1889, the Moulin-Rouge was inaugurated at the foot of the Butte Montmartre on the site of the former Bal de la Reine Blanche, a date judiciously scheduled the day after the last night party before the annual closure of the Jardin de Paris des Champs-Élysées operated by the same owners and whose regulars will meet in the new establishment in Place Blanche.  It was built as a revolutionary hall architecture that allowed rapid changes of scenery and where all audiences mingled. Festive evenings, with champagne, where we dance and laugh a lot thanks to humorous attractions that change regularly, like that of the famous Pétomane. A new dance inspired by Quadrille is more and more popular: the French Cancan, performed to a frenzied rhythm by dancers in alluring costumes with petticoats and slit panties. Illustrious dancers will go down in the history of the Moulin-Rouge, including La Goulue, Jane Avril, Môme Fromage, Grille d´Égout, Nini Pattes en l’Air and Yvette Guilbert. The Moulin-Rouge is a place loved by artists, the most emblematic of which is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. His posters and paintings assured the Moulin-Rouge a rapid and international notoriety.

Several events and anecdotes I like: On October 26, 1890, the Prince of Wales, the future king Edward VII, who made a private stay in Paris (the most Parisien of all UK see posts ), booked a table to discover this quadrille whose reputation had already crossed the Channel. Recognizing him, La Goulue, with her legs in the air and her head in her petticoats, launches without hesitation: “Hey, Wales, you pay for the champagne!” . In 1891, La Goulue was Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s first poster for the Moulin-Rouge.

Until WWI, the Moulin Rouge was transformed into a veritable temple of operetta. On January 3, 1907, during the show “Le Rêve d’Égypte”, Colette exchanges a kiss on stage with her mistress, the Duchess of Morny (Mathilde de Morny). Deemed scandalous, the play is banned. On July 29, 1907, Mistinguett’s first appearance on the Moulin-Rouge stage in “La Revue de la Femme”. In 1929, Mistinguett retired from the stage and left the Moulin-Rouge, whose 1,500-seat theater became one of the largest cinemas in Europe, with artists from Music-Hall in the first part. The old ballroom remained and was transformed into an ultra modern night club in 1937.

Between 1939 and 1945, in WWII interrupted the effervescence of the Moulin-Rouge, which became a dance hall, the Robinson Moulin-Rouge. A few days before the liberation of Paris in 1944, Edith Piaf, whose talent is already recognized, performed on the stage of the Moulin-Rouge, with Yves Montand, a beginner who was imposed on her. On May 19, 1953, the 25th Bal des Petits Lits blancs, organized by the novelist Guy des Cars, takes place at the Moulin-Rouge in the presence of the President of the Republic, Vincent Auriol, and with, for the first time on a European stage, Bing Crosby!  The evening attracts 1,200 artists and stars from all over the world, including Joséphine Baker, who will sing J’ai deux amours. Between 1951 and 1960, famous artists followed one another including Luis Mariano, Charles Trenet, Charles Aznavour, Line Renaud, Bourvil, Fernand Raynaud and Lena Horne.

On September 7, 1979, the Moulin-Rouge, which has become a Parisian hotspot, celebrates its 90th anniversary. On stage, for the first time in Paris, Ginger Rogers is surrounded by many stars including Thierry Le Luron, Dalida, Charles Aznavour, Jean-Claude Brialy, George Chakiris, the Village People and Zizi Jeanmaire. On November 23, 1981, the Moulin-Rouge closed its doors exceptionally to present its show in front of the Queen of England, Elizabeth II. On February 4, 1982, Liza Minnelli leads an exceptional show, staging for the first time, the British Fenella Masse Mathews. Two galas were organized in 1984: one for Dean Martin and the other for Frank Sinatra. On December 1, 1986, the most famous classical dancer in the world, Mikhaïl Barychnikov, premiered at the Moulin-Rouge an original ballet by Maurice Béjart.

On February 20, 1988, on the occasion of the centenary of the Moulin-Rouge, the premiere of the review “Formidable” is a “Royal Performance in Paris”, one of the most prestigious official British events, in which takes part every year in London a member of the royal family. For the second time, it took place, in France, at the Moulin-Rouge. Presided over in 1983 by Princess Anne, Prince Edward was the guest of honor on February 20, 1988. In spring 1989, in London, an exceptional performance of the Moulin Rouge in front of the Prince and Princess of Wales. On October 6 that same year, a Centennial Gala was organized with Charles Aznavour, Lauren Bacall, Ray Charles, Tony Curtis, Ella Fitzgerald, the Gipsy Kings, Margaux Hemingway, Barbara Hendricks, Dorothy Lamour, Jerry Lewis, Jane Russell, Charles Trenet, and Esther Williams. In February 2009, on the occasion of the Year of France in Brazil and as part of the Rio Carnival, the Moulin-Rouge was invited to the Rio Copacabana Carnival.

You can walk , go by car as I have or take the metro not done on line 2 Blanche.

The official Moulin Rouge webpage in English:

The Paris tourist office on the Moulin Rouge in English:

There you go folks, another two dandy monuments of my eternal Paris and my belle France. You as an adult can see once in your lifetime for a festive look of Paris, and it is worth the detour me think. The Lido and Moulin Rouge of Paris! Hope you enjoy the historical post.

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

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2 Comments to “Lido and Moulin Rouge of Paris!!!”

  1. I went to a show at Moulin Rouge in 1977.

    Liked by 1 person

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