Paris’ giant drive-in cinema
The iconic Parisian landmark, Le Grand Palais, will be hosting the biggest drive-in cinema event in a capital city this June. (Kim Laidlaw)
Le Grand Palais, the vast steel-and-glass structure just off the Champs Elysées, will become an ephemeral drive-in cinema for 12 days in June – converting the immense nave into a giant movie theatre inside one Paris’ most iconic monuments.
From 10 to 21 June, the transformed Cinema Paradiso will be the biggest drive-in ever seen in a capital city, welcoming up to 1,000 visitors per movie to the 12,000sqm space, with a programme that will show cult films ranging from Taxi Driver to Back to the Future to The Big Lebowski on a huge 25sqm screen. Visitors can snuggle up in cute pre-parked Fiat 500 cars to watch the film, or settle into classic cinema seats or deckchairs.
But there will be more than just movies at the event, with the space opening every day at 11 am for an array of adult and child-friendly activities. Restaurants will include a champagne and lobster bar, a four-seat restaurant by top French chef Jean-François Piège, and in keeping with the US theme, an American diner serving burgers and an ice-cream and milkshake bar. Also not to be missed is a roller disco for children and adults, and an exhibition on the golden age of video games, featuring vintage arcade machines, pinball and table football.
After dark, the roller disco turns into a dance floor where big names in the Paris nightlife scene – such as record label Kitsuné, and nightclubs Le Baron and Wanderlust – play music through the night, including DJ sets from French electro stars Ed Banger and Miss Kittin.
Access is 10 euros at the door, but tickets to the cinema (19 euros including entry) or to club nights should be bought in advance on the FNAC website.
Kim Laidlaw is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes www.unlockparis.com.