Paris is a city of cinéphilesthere 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 main movie theatres chains in Paris are UGC, Gaumont-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 chainif you bring a friend, they often get a discounted rate. Generally, to get your moneys worth, you will need to see two films per month on average.
Better known as cinéma dart et dessai, 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 its a French classic, youll 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.