Café du Cinéma Studio 28

Critics' choice
© John Brunton
18th arrondissement

The Abbesses neighbourhood in Montmartre is one of the hippest parts of Paris, teeming with crowds of people and filled with bars. But wander up the quite side street that leads to the iconic Windmill de la Galette and you arrive at one of the city’s most famous art house cinemas, Studio 28. Walk past the ticket office and a long corridor brings you out into a hidden jewel, a magical covered interior courtyard that opens up every afternoon as a bar, salon du thé and restaurant. The cinema has been owned by the Roulleau family since 1948, but when Alain Roulleau took over in 1996 he wanted to do something special, and had the idea of covering the drab courtyard with an Arabian Nights-style tent, decorated with a giant chandelier and romantic black and white photographs of Paris. Part of it has been left open as a summer terrace, lined with tall bamboo and a vast fresco of all the stars that Roulleau feels have created the myth of the French cinema – Delon and Bardot, Signoret and Montand, Fernandel and Jean Gabin, Belmondo and Jean Marais. There is an intimate bar which serves wine and champagne, but unfortunately there is no full time barman to shake serious cocktails as it is the ticket office staff who serve in the café as well. The friendly cuisinère, Francine, has worked here since the place opened and she bakes a daily selection of quiches and cakes, including a delicious gâteau au chocolat. The clientele changes according to the time of day: it's very popular with locals from the ‘quartier’ and cinema-goers in the afternoon, becoming more lively at night with in-the-know Parisians dropping in for aperitifs and then late-night drinks.

Venue name: Café du Cinéma Studio 28
Contact:
Address: 10 Rue Tholoze, 18th
Paris

Opening hours: Daily 3pm-10.30pm
Transport: Metro: Abbesses
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