History of The Lido Cabaret in Paris
Known by the names of Le Lido de Paris or just simply The Lido Cabaret Show, this is probably one of the most famous venues for cabaret in Paris and was made famous by the incredible Bluebell Girls that are still a major part of the show or Revue as it is known today.
Start of The Lido
Two building contractor brothers of Italian origin by the names of Joseph and Louis Clerico, purchased The Lido from Leon Volterra at 78 Avenue des Champs Elysees in 1946 with idea of turning this into a lucrative show venue.
So, they contacted a showbiz person called Pierre Louis Guerin who had big and often outrageous ideas, yet they worked together to transform the place into a luxury setting with the idea of launching a dinner and show combined, which was actually copied by many other places around the world.
The first Revue was called Sans Rimes Ni Raisons, which translates to Without Rhyme or Reason and was launched on the 20th June 1946 and combining this with dinner as well was a resounding success.
Next stage of Led Lido in Paris
Renee Fraday had began his career at one of the famous music halls in Paris as a dancer for Mistinguett that worked at the Moulin Rouge and then he went to the United States of America where he produced different shows.
He was hired by Pierre Louis Guerin in 1947 as the artistic director of The Lido and Renee started travelling all over the world to uncover exceptional talent and to make his dreams come a reality.
Over the years he did make some of his dreams become a reality, just like adding a real ice skating rink at Le Lido de Paris, he also came up with the idea for a pool and water effects and much more, that were all unique and firsts in the world of showbiz and cabaret.
The Bluebell Girls
It all started with a girl by the name of Mary Kelly who was born in Ireland and was nicknamed Miss Bluebell, due to the colour of her eyes. Following her passion she became a dancer, first travelling to Germany and then to France, where at a mere 22 years of age she started her own dance company called the Bluebell Girls and they started performing at the Folies Bergere.
But it was a few years later when the Bluebell Girls were already famous that Miss Bluebell, Mary Kelly decided to move the troupe to The Lido, as she felt that this cabaret venue in Paris was more worthy of her dancers.
And so, from 1948 for nearly forty years, Miss Bluebell reigned over the stage at the Lido with her troupe and the dancers elegance, yet even today, the Bluebell Girls are still a major part of each new Revue, or show at The Lido.
The Lido from then until today
The atmosphere, the shows and the venue on the most famous avenue in the world were becoming more and more spectacular with each new revue, and when it came to the opening nights, these were attended by the top stars and the international cream of high society.
And in 1958 The Lido Show was reproduced for the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas America, which was originally meant to only run for six months, but again, with such a resounding success it was extended. And incredibly this show continued on for the next 32 years!
Eventually, new premises had to be looked into so that they could expand and make the venue even more high tech and yet, they wanted to remain on the prestigious Champs Elysees.
So, in 1977 the Lido cabaret venue in Paris moved to the Normandie building at the exit to the George V Metro station on the Champs Elysees and it was at this time that Christian Clerico succeeded his father Joseph Clerico, as manager of France's largest entertainment company.
The Italian architects Giorgio Vecchia and Franco Bartoccini transformed the 6,000 square metre space in the Normandie Building into a panoramic room that would offer an uninterrupted view of the shows, and perfect visibility from all of the 1,150 seats available in the Lido.
Designed without any columns to ensure perfect visibility there is only a single, 45 metre long prestressed concrete beam that supports the entire structure, and there is a giant elevator that allows the orchestra section to sink 80 centimetres into the floor, to further improve visibility for the show, which is where 300 guests dine.
In fact, the machinery used in which to achieve the fabulous effects is still unique in the world today, which includes the ice rink, a water screen and a pool, and today The Lido is still a family run business with Carl Clerico, grandson of Joseph and Frank Clerico, son of Louis who have taken over this incredible venue.
So after more than 60 years of success, the shows at the Lido and an evening of entertainment in Paris at this cabaret are still as popular as ever, being one of the unrivalled venues and symbols of Paris at night.