Theatre de la Ville in Paris
The Theatre de la Ville Paris was once known as the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt and is one of two theatres in Paris built in the 1860s that are located opposite each other at the Place du Chatelet and this venue has a varied programme through the year of theatre music and dance.
A bit of history..
When you look at the history of the Place du Chatelet, you will find a fortress once stood here, which was turned into a prison, however, when Paris was being redesigned in the time of Baron Haussmann, this was demolished and the square in Paris was constructed along with two buildings opposite each other that were designed as theatres.
It was the architect Gabriel Davioud who was chosen to construct the two theatres, with one being named the Theatre du Chatelet and the other was named the Place du Chatelet Theatre Lyrique when it was first inaugurated in 1862.
Unfortunately, the Place du Chatelet Theatre Lyrique was severely damaged and burned during the Paris commune in 1871, but was rebuilt to the same specifications in 1874 and when inaugurated in the year 1875, it was renamed the Theatre Historique.
It then changed its name again to the Theatre des Nations in 1879 and hosted the Comic Opera Troupe until 1887, but in the December of 1898, the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt took over the running of this theatre in Paris and renamed it the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt.
However, because of her Jewish background, when Paris was under occupation during World War II, the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt was renamed yet again, and this time took the name of Theatre de la Cite, but it reverted back to the name of this actress after the war had come to an end.
Yet by the 1960s the building required major renovations and the interior was completely demolished and the only things that remained were the walls, roof and the original facade. The architect chosen was Jean Perottet along with designer Rene Allio, who also designed the Theatre national de Chaillot at the Palais de Chaillot, so that the theatre could accommodate more contemporary scenography with bleachers and without pillars. And in the December of 1968, the theatre reopened once again, but this time with a new name of Theatre de la Ville, or theatre of the city, and then in 1990 the original facade by Gabriel Davioud was listed as one of the historical monuments in Paris.
About the Theatre de la Ville
Entertainment in Paris is renowned for being varied and at the forefront of different disciplines from opera to ballet and music concerts through to cabaret, and the Theatre de la Ville has a very varied programme of theatre, music and dance.
It promotes these three different forms of art with performances, not just from France, but from all around the world in order to bring a completely unique cultural atmosphere to its audiences with over 100 different programmes each year.
And the theatre is open to, and supports world cultures in artistic achievements, so with this in mind it hosts performances in different languages, so you may find something in English, Portuguese, Chinese, etc, but these have subtitles for French and often English.
Yet because of this international programme of music, theatre and dance, the Theatre de la Ville has the ability to receive a wide variety of audiences and age groups for both classic and contemporary performances, and with this in mind, it promotes this theatre in Paris to a younger generation, families and children as well.
Access to the Theatre de la Ville
The Theatre de la Ville is situated in the 4th Arrondissement at the Place du Chatelet on the opposite side to the Theatre du Chatelet. And it is located close to the River Seine on the right bank, only a short walk from numerous tourist attractions in Paris such as the Pompidou Centre, and the Tour Saint-Jacques, not forgetting the Ile de la Cite and the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral.
The box office is open on a Monday from 11am to 7pm and on a Tuesday through to a Saturday from 11am to 8pm, however you can also book tickets on line or via telephone on +33 1 42 74 22 77.
There is a wide variety of different performances from classical to contemporary that include theatre, music and dance, many of which are from international companies, and there are also several shows organised throughout the year from September through to mid July, that are produced in different languages including English, or have English subtitles.
But we would like to point out that there is normally a break from mid July through to approximately the first week of September each year.
And as of 2013, the cost of tickets ranges in price from €16 upward for a full price ticket, however, for people under the age of 30, there is a reduced rate applicable, and the starting cost is around €12 upwards, yet there are also discounts available for groups.
When it comes to getting to the Theatre de la Ville, there are numerous different options available via the public transport system in Paris which include the Metro at the Chatelet stop on lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14 or the RER via the Chatelet-les-Halles stop on lines A, B or D.
The Paris buses numbered 21, 38, 47, 58, 67, 70, 75, 81, 85 and 96 will also get you close to this theatre in Paris, and do not forget about the Batobus water bus service on the River Seine, or the tour buses that also travel close to this theatre. Yet if you have your own vehicle, then the nearest car park is by the Hotel de Ville on the Rue de la Tacherie.
Attractions at Place du Chatelet
- Place du Chatelet Square
- Theatre du Chatelet
Address and Contact Details
Theatre de la Ville
2 Place du Chatelet
Ile de France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 42 74 22 77
Tourist attractions close by
- Tour Saint Jacques tower
- River Seine
- Hotel de Ville
- Pont au Change
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