The cinema experience of a lifetime (without even watching a movie)

Stumbled on an old cinema in Paris with Elle and found ourselves so enthralled by a tour that we wanted to share with movie fans back home.

The cinema is the stunning Rex in the Opera District. As fans of cinema heritage we simply could not believe how well the Rex tour brings the cinema to life for a new generation.

You can see why this caught our eye…

The building is split into the cinema/ theatre, the behind the scenes tour and a nightclub (originally founded by Laurent Garnier no less)…

The start of the tour, which sets off in groups by chosen language and uses speakers on the wall instead of headphone audio guides…

What happened next? We had a chance to visit a reproduction of the cinema tower, enjoy a version of the ‘manager’s office’, glimpse at the scale of the many levels behind the stage of the main screen, check out a projection booth of old, take part in a green screen shoot, use a sound studio, be extras in a special effects scene, watch our efforts cut into a trailer in the creening room and wave for the Press on a red carpet…

Yes, it is all designed for a very broad audience – that’s the joy of it – and with the Rex being a working venue you see less of the actual cinema than you’d expect.

BUT every part of the tour drips with the love of film and cinema heritage. It is glorious.

Oh, and thanks to some kind staff in the venue itself we were able to take a look at the (closed) main screen from the audience side.

It is absolutely stunning (and with 2,600 seats it is Europe’s largest too)…

In Belfast we (almost always) demolish our old cinemas, yet elsewhere they find a way to bring the beauty of a different age of cinema to young and old alike.

Thank you to everyone at the Rex – we loved every second we spent with you.


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