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Legendary Paris music-halls reopen

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-01

The Palace and the Alhambra, two Parisian landmarks established in the 1920s, are re-opening after several years of inactivity. From Maurice Chevalier to Mick Jagger, they have been graced by some of the world's most famous artists.

Two legendary Paris music-halls that saw the birth of stars such as Maurice Chevalier, Django Reinhardt or Charles Aznavour, are making a comeback after years of oblivion.
  
The Palace, an art deco jewel dating back to 1923 which in the 1980s became one of Europe's top discotheques, reopens Wednesday after gathering dust for 12 years.
  
The Alhambra, shut down in 1967 to be turned into a car-park, saw its rebirth earlier this month under the same name but a stone's throw from the original 1920s theatre.
  
New owner Jean-Claude Auclaira purchased the name of the celebrated 20s music-hall from an English family, the Bradford's, its original owners.
  
Dedicated to pop music genres such as reggae, rock, electro or world, the new Alhambra's maiden concerts featured "manouche" gypsy music as well as performances by Argentina's Melingo and jazz-world group the Hadouk Trio.
  
The Palace, closed since 1996, reopens as an elegant 970-seat theatre designed for one-man shows and pocket-sized concerts after months of reconstruction as its original self financed by Belgians Hazis and Ali Vardar.
  
"We are going back to the basics with this hall which will first and foremost be a theatre," said Hazis Vardar. "There will be concerts but with an 11 pm curfew. The discotheque years are over."
  
Turned into a cinema in 1946 then a theatre in 1968, Grace Jones reopened the venue as a discotheque in 1978 that saw the Village People, Gloria Gaynor the Bee Gees and Donna Summer on stage.
  
Peopled by an unlikely mix of clubbers, intellectuals and underground artists of all classes and sexual tastes, afficionados included philosopher Roland Barthes, Mick Jagger, Paloma Picasso, Kenzo Tagada and Karl Lagerfeld.

Date created : 2008-10-31

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