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Cinema Le Grand Palais
Photograph: antonio virga architecte

This new French multiplex may be the world’s sexiest cinema

A golden temple to the movies has opened in Europe

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen
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There are shady fleapits, there are luxe arthouse cinemas, and then there is Cinema Le Grand Palais, potentially the most bougie new multiplex on the planet.

Encased in gold metal, this picture palace has opened in the southern French city of Cahors and is already up for awards for being a ridiculously lustrous place to watch movies.

Cinema Le Grand Palais
Photograph: antonio virga architecte

Half cinema, half King Midas fever dream, the seven-screen Le Grand Palais – named after the city’s first ever cinema – is the handiwork of Paris-based architects Antonio Virga. The building it occupies was once used as a convent and then as a military base, part of which burned down during the war.

Its new incarnation is a throwback to the massive old movie theatres that once proliferated across France. A multiplex from another era, in other words, rendered in perforated brickwork and gold metal, and with a conscious nod to the 19th century housing blocks around it.

Only, you know, with massive gold doors. Because if you’ve got it, flaunt it. 

Cinema Le Grand Palais
Photograph: antonio virga architecte

‘The architecture of the cinema reaches out to old Cahors,’ explain the architects, ‘to the history of the square and to the lost concept of old monumental movie theatres’

If your local multiplex has seen better days, maybe look away now but you can watch No Time to Die in this shiny temple of cinema for a mere €8.50, and pick up a vin blanc in the bistro for €2. We want this to be our local. 

Cinema Le Grand Palais
Photograph: antonio virga architecte

The building has been shortlisted for an architecture award by design magazine Dezeen. Find out more at the cinema’s official site.

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