Giant Drive-in Movie Theater with Fiat 500s at the Grand Palais in Paris


The world's first drive-in movie theater opened in Camden, New Jersey 80 years ago this month. And while it has taken quite a long time for Paris to adopt this iconic American innovation, the film company MK2 certainly outdid itself with Cinéma Paradiso, a temporary drive-in movie theater installed under the enormous nave of the Grand Palais. From June 10 until June 21, those who were lucky enough to purchase tickets in advance will have the opportunity to watch classic movies, such as Grease, Taxi Driver, The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction, Psycho, or Annie Hall, from the front (or perhaps the back!) seat of a Fiat 500L or Fiat 500 convertible. With rows of traditional theater seating, deck chairs and mattresses with pillows, there are 900 places per screening. Due to the overwhelming success of Cinéma Paradiso, however, seats for almost all of the movies were sold out shortly after they became available online. As of this posting, there are still tickets available at FNAC for the 11:55 pm showing of Sugarman on June 21 and the 2:00 am showing of Hair on June 22.

But the good news is that even if you can't snuggle up with your sweetheart in a Fiat 500, there's still an exciting array of other activities for adults and children at the Grand Palais. In keeping with the retro-theme, there's an American diner serving amazingly delicious cheeseburgers, a roller skating rink that turns into a hip nightclub in the evening, vintage arcade machines, foosball and champagne bars serving flutes of Moët and Chandon. It's still Paris, after all!

An intense game of foosball in the Grand Palais.
Determined to escape all of the work that requires my attention after being away from Paris for two weeks, I was thankful when Sylvia agreed to play hooky with me this afternoon. We posed for photos with silly props at the Velib' stand, drooled over the American junk food at Colette and agreed that the organizers had done a very good job of transporting us back to our childhood in the USA.

If you would like to experience a bit of Americana in Paris, regular entrance tickets for Cinéma Paradiso are available at FNAC for 11.50€ for adults and 6.50€ for children and at the entrance of the Grand Palais for 13.50€ for adults and 8.50€ for children.

Please click here to see additional photos of Cinéma Paradiso on "Out and About's" Facebook page.

Cheers and congratulations to actor David Atrakchi and actress Sophie Meister who were celebrating their second wedding anniversary in a Fiat 500 at Cinéma Paradiso!

Comments

  1. .....Looks like a bit of jet lag since this was posted real early or real late....(-:
    i like the need header picture

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    1. It's jet leg ... and I'm sure that I'll regret staying up so late when I can't convince myself to get out of bed at a respectable hour tomorrow morning. Time for me to try and get some sleep. G'nite!

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  2. such fun! I loved going to the drive-in in Mayberry. Can't remember the last time I did it, but I think it was to see Saturday Night Fever. Now, that's a long time ago.

    And foosball--I'd win.

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    1. No argument there. After seeing your wizardry (and competitive streak!) while playing pinball at the bar in Saint Germain, I'm convinced that you would win at foosball!

      I've been trying to remember the last movie that I saw at the drive-in and can't. I used to go when I was a kid but we also went when we lived in Trinidad. It was perfect. We would take a picnic, spread blankets and pillows out on the grass for the kids and watch movie after movie. Good times!

      Are there any drive in movie theaters in the Chicago area? You should take your niece and nephew to one!

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  3. I have fond memories of "Drive-Ins" when growing up in country Australia and strangely enough given this post, my first drive-in memory is in my mother's Fiat Bambino watching "The Jungle Book"!

    This one under the nave of the Grand Palais looks far more polite and dignified though Mary Kay...and I am sure no-one is wearing pyjamas.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your first drive-in memory! I love the image that it created in my mind of a little Baron in pjs singing along with King Louie. "Now I'm the king of the swingers..."

      Just for old times' sake, they should have a pj night at the Grand Palais!

      My first drive-in memory is of when my aunt told me to curl up on the floor of my parent's station wagon so that she wouldn't have to buy a ticket for me. I hid under my sister's feet and felt very daring.

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  4. What a great concept!:) Thank God for people who think outside the box!:)You always seem to find the best spots, MK!:)

    By the way, I think I like that new banner even better than the one you had a few days back (taken from the Panoramic bar):)

    The picture of the glass "half full" was fabulous! That would make an amazing poster!:)

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    1. The people who worked on this project must have had so much fun. I would have loved to have been in the room when someone suggested the addition of Fiat 500s. It's such a clever idea! My only regret is that Cinema Paradiso is for such a limited time and that the movie tickets sold out before people like me could get one! ;)

      Thanks for the feedback about the new banner. I'm playing around with it before I do a major design overhaul ... one of these days.

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  5. What a fun idea! Too bad we won't be in Paris until the 30th.

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    1. Don't be too disappointed, Rob. There are always lots of interesting events happening in Paris. I'm sure that you'll have more than enough to keep you busy while you're here!

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  6. This is so much fun, i hope more of this event will happen.

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  7. How fun! I loved going to drive-ins as a kid. You find the best stuff to do.

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