Two Important Paris Theaters Go Dark for Renovations: The Théâtre de la Ville and the Théâtre du Châtelet

By Jaime Prisco on Jan 05, 2015 03:51 PM EST

Two of the most important theaters in Paris — the Théâtre de la Ville and the Théâtre du Châtelet — will be closing for extensive renovations, darkening both houses for 1 1/2 to two years.

The theaters will start the renovations at the end of the 2016 season. The announcement was made by Bruno Julliard, the mayoral deputy responsible for culture, but did not specify what was going to happen to employees of both theaters. Currently, the Châtelet employs 130 people while the Théâtre de la Ville employs 110, according to Le Figaro.

Julliard announced that despite the closures, it “did not mean that programming would come to a complete stop.”

The budget for the renovations falls within a 100-million-euro budget for refurbishment allocated to the two theaters and a number of museums.

The two establishments offer different kinds of performances for lovers of the arts.

The Châtelet is currently hosting An American in Pariswhich has opened to rave reviews and is currently playing to sold-out houses. The Châtelet focuses on program musicals and concerts while the Théâtre de la Ville is an important destination for international theater, contemporary dance and world music. Both receive large subsidies from the city of Paris: 17 million euros — about $20.5 million — a year at the Théâtre du Châtelet, which has an annual audience of around 320,000; and 10 million euros at the Théâtre de la Ville, which has about 260,000 spectators each year.

During the renovations, the Théâtre de la Ville has a second, much smaller house in the 18th Arrondissement, that can host performances, but its larger productions are unlikely to be shown there.

But the Châtelet may have a more difficult time finding a venue to hold productions, especially since another Paris theater, the Opéra Comique, will also be closed for renovations for at least 18 months starting in mid-2015.

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TagsParis, Théâtre de la Ville, Théâtre du Châtelet, An American in Paris, Opera Comique

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