I have always thought that Paris appreciated movies more than many other cities – their theaters are surprisingly comfy, they tell you exactly when the commercials will end before the start of the movie, and the city’s 376 movie theaters (yes, that’s right, 376) show almost every movie you could want to see, from current blockbusters to classics to obscure films from all over the world. And they’re constantly having festivals – want to see all of the movies made based on Jules Verne novels? Or every movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki? Stay in Paris for awhile and you will.
Another case in point: starting on August 19, the city of Paris is starting its annual Three Days, Three Euros (Trois Jours, Trois Euros) program. Essentially, for three days, the city subsidizes admission to every single movie showing in the city during that time, so that you only have to pay 3 Euros to see any movie, at any one of the 376 theaters, for any showing. That’s about a third of the normal price.
According to the city’s announcement (in French) of the event, last year’s program attracted about 380,000 visitors. That might not sound like a lot for a city of about 12 million (in the metropolitan area), according to Wikipedia, but that translates to about 1,000 people per movie theater over 3 days, which sounds like some long ticket lines to me.
So, if you happen to be lucky enough to be in Paris right now, and you’re wondering what to do during a month when almost everything is closed there, escape the hordes of other tourists for a bit by going to see a movie. It’s a true Parisian experience.
To see what movies are playing, you can pick up a (very, very cheap) Pariscope at any newstand.
(Note: If you do go to see a movie in Paris, keep in mind that v.o. means the movie is in its original language, whether that’s French, English or Swahili, with subtitles, and v.f. means the movie is dubbed into French.)