Cinemas and theatres in the Marais

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Cirque d'Hiver Bouglione

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This circus has been in the same family for decades. It now has a new façade to match its revamped interior, and crowds flock for its twice-yearly seasons (including the Winter Circus from October to March) which include tigers, horses and very silly clowns.

  1. 110 rue Amelot, 11e
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IRCAM

IRCAM Karl Blackwell / Time Out

IRCAM

The underground bunker next to the Centre Pompidou, set up in 1969 by the avant-garde composer Pierre Boulez to create electronic microtonal music for the new century, is looking less redundant nowadays with a full programme of courses and conferences. Not many concerts take place in the building itself, but IRCAM sponsors concerts with a modernist theme across the city. See the website for concert venues, and details of courses.

  1. 1 place Igor Stravinsky, 4e
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EP

Café de la Gare

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Running since 1968, the most famous fringe theatre in Paris has 300 stage-hugging seats and hosts quality French stand-up and raucous comedies.

  1. 41 rue du Temple, 4e
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(c) Elsa Pereira

Maison de la poésie

Originally founded as the Théâtre Molière, this place is centuries old, where once revolutionaries came to perform their plays. In the 1990s, the 17th-century room was redesigned as a centre for poetry. The programme mixes the works of classical French masters (Victor Hugo, Julio Cortazar, Guillaume Apollinaire), less popular but also outstanding contemporary poets (Christophe Manon) and talented actors (Philippe Caubère, Anaïs de Courson). A multidisciplinary venue that promotes creativity and doesn’t shy away from debate.

  1. 157 rue Saint-Martin, 3e
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Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles

The Belgian cultural centre has been a part of the Parisian scene since 1979, with an eclectic programme of fine arts, live shows, film screenings, conferences and more. More often showing contemporary artists like the draughtsman Roland Breucker or the photographer Sophie Langohr, it sometimes also shows distinguished names (Evelyne Axell, Antoine Mortier). There are two annual dance festivals it’s worth keeping an eye out for: ‘On y Danse’ in February, and ‘Théatre et Compagnies’ in October. There are also five themes film festivals a year – all great ways of filling the enormous 1000 square metre space.

  1. 127 rue Saint-Martin, 4e
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© Marc Domage

Centre culturel suisse

  • Critics choice

An embarrassment of cultural choice at the CCS, established in 1985: dance, concerts, reading, film screenings, theatre, exhibitions and more, all ‘made in Switzerland’. In the very heart of the Marais, it promotes Swiss culture and fosters links with French artists, holding a huge variety of exhibitions in its 280 square metre gallery space.

  1. 32 et 38 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 3e
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Théâtre des Blancs Manteaux

A springboard for new talent, the Blancs Manteaux offer an eclectic programme of comedy sketches, stand-up, duos and burlesque, promoting a different newly-discovered act every month in its two intimate, distinctively decorated auditoriums, which allow you to get really close to the acts. There are two deals on offer that are particularly worth checking out – the two-shows-in-one-evening, and the dinner-and-a-show, run with local restaurants.

  1. 15 rue des Blancs Manteaux, 4e
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MK2 Beaubourg

A stone’s throw from the Centre Pompidou, MK2 offers a high quality programme of films in the heart of the city. Among other roles, it often works with the Pompidou to show contemporary artists’ works and festival selections – for example the Cinéma du Réel, which brings a fantastic selection of international documentaries to Paris every spring.

  1. 50 rue Rambuteau, 3e
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Le Nouveau Latina

  • Price band: 2/4

The exciting programming at this flag-bearer for Latin cultures runs the gamut from Argentinian to Romanian films. Latin dance features at the €17 film-dinner-dancing deals on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

  1. 20 rue du Temple, 4e
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©DR

Théâtre Déjazet

  • Price band: 3/4

Halfway through the 19th century, the café and music venue Folies Mayer opened among numerous other theatres on the Boulevard du Temple – at the time, also known as the Boulevard du Crime, the scene of murder and intrigues almost evey night. None of this stopped the Folies Mayer from surviving and becoming a theatre in 1854, taken over a few years later by Virginie Dézajet, with operettas and standup on the stage of what was now the Folies-Dézajet. Though the Dézajet was the only theatre to escape Haussman’s demolitions, it didn’t escape closure at the end of the 1930s...

  1. 41 boulevard du Temple, 3e
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EP

Essaïon Théâtre

  • Price band: 1/4

Situated in the medieval cellars of an old hotel, l’Essaion takes you deep into Paris’ underbelly for cabaret and theatre productions.  There are a few classics on the bill, but the programme mostly leans towards contemporary creations – from comedy to tragedy. L’Essaion also caters well for children, with a selection of quality shows for the younger audience (in French).

  1. 6 rue Pierre au Lard, 4e
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DR

La Gaîté Lyrique

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

19th-century composer Jacques Offenbach isn’t usually associated with cutting-edge digital art, but after a 10-year revamp, Offenbach’s former Belle Époque Gaïté Lyrique theatre has been turned into Paris’s first ever digital cultural centre - a 7 floor, multidisciplinary concert hall cum gallery that thrusts visitors deep into the realms of digital art, music, graphics, film, fashion, design and video games. It’s not the first time the building has undergone transformation: After being a haut-lieu of operetta and Russian ballet, it was pillaged by the Nazis, only to become a circus school in the 1970s and a mini theme park in the 1980s...

  1. 3 bis rue Papin, 3e
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Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou

  • Critics choice

The primary colours, exposed pipes and air ducts make the Centre Pompidou one of the best-known sights in Paris. The then-unknown Italo-British architectural duo of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers won the competition with their 'inside-out' boilerhouse approach, which put air-conditioning, pipes, lifts and the escalators on the outside, leaving an adaptable space within. The multi-disciplinary concept of modern art museum (the most important in Europe), library, exhibition and performance spaces, and repertory cinema was also revolutionary.When the centre opened in 1977, its success exceeded all expectations...

  1. Rue Saint-Martin, 4e
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Le Point Virgule

Le Point Virgule (c) Elsa Pereira

Le Point Virgule

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This small Marais theatre has become the ultimate launch pad for up-and-coming comedians, with shows, a café-théâtre school and an annual comedy festival in September.

  1. 7 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 4e
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Le Petit Casino

  • Price band: 2/4

Up-and-coming talents find precious stage space in this traditional café-théâtre devoted to one-man shows and cheap 'n' tasty nosh.

  1. 17 rue Chapon, 3e
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