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Paris is a city of cinéphiles—there are nearly 100 screens spread over 20 arrondissements. Every night of the week you can catch a new release, an old classic, some standard art films and a healthy dose of “world” cinema. Going to the movies in Paris can be a wonderful experience for those of us who have had to withstand full volume conversations, hot dog eating and voice mail checking in the movie theatres of our homelands. Here, people are relatively quiet, the concessions are kept to a minimum, and most people even stay to watch the credits at the end. To see what’s playing now, check out Allocine.fr.

The Chains

The main movie theatres chains in Paris are UGCGaumont-Pathé, and MK2. With the exception of MK2, these theatres generally show big-budget Hollywood and French fare as well as the occasional well-received foreign flick. One great advantage of UGC and Gaumont-Pathés are the membership cards. For around 20 euros a month, you get unlimited access to the movies at the chain—if you bring a friend, they often get a discounted rate. Generally, to get your money’s worth, you will need to see two films per month on average.

To learn more about these cards go here:
UGC
Gaumont-Pathé

Art Houses

Better known as cinéma d’art et d’essai, these are the theatres that show Kurasawa film festivals, feature independent filmmakers and scrimp on amenities such as air conditioning. The hot spot for such theaters is in the 5th arrondissement, where cinemas such as the Accattone, the Grand Action and the Filmothèque du Quartier Latin reign. Although there are no discount cards to speak of, these theatres frequently put on festivals, revivals and various other happenings.

Perhaps the ur-cinema in Paris is the Cinématheque Française. This is ground zero for cinéphiles. At the Cinématheqe, you can see just about any movie around, and often, if it’s a French classic, you’ll be graced by the presence of a director or a star. In addition, this temple to the 7th art features regular exhibitions and has a permanent collection.

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About Author

Sam

I came to Paris in the fall of 2006 as a study abroad student. Since then, I have had many adventures in babysitting, grad schooling, interning, girlfriending, breaking up, haling taxis and working a 9-to-5. For every day that Paris drives me nuts-- because seriously, this city WILL get on your nerves sometimes-- there are days when I feel overjoyed and privileged to be living in such a beautiful town.

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