Music and cinema: discover the two holidays

  • June 15, 2022
  • All things Paris
  • Marie-Louise Dejaune

Translated from the French by Morgan Reynolds

In France, the ministry of Culture organizes the Fête de la musique or “World Music Day” and the Fête du cinéma or “World Cinema Day” every year in June or July. It's always a wonderful opportunity for people to have fun and experience new forms of music and cinema put on by their city and all across the world!

What is the Fête de la musique?

In 1967 the American musician Joel Cohen launched the first Fête de la musique! He created the "Saturnales de la Musique" on June 21st and December 21st, a musical programme broadcasted all night long, to celebrate the two solstices with music.
In 1982, Jack Lang, the minister of Culture and Communication, launched the event for the first time and it was a great success! They invited many musicians to play outside in the streets and many spectators came to listen to them.

When is the Fête de la musique?

The Fête de la musique takes place on the same day every year, June 21st, in order to celebrate the summer solstice. The summer solstice is the first day of the summer season and is filled with meaning, including changing seasons and new beginnings. This year it falls on a Tuesday, and what better way to celebrate the coming of summer than with wonderful music?

How to celebrate the Fête de la musique?

Below are a few of our favorites to attend during World Music Day!
  • Crazy Horse Cabaret: Playing several nights a week, including on World Music Day, join the Crazy Horse girls for a night of music, dance, and dazzling memories.
  • Jazz concert at Sunset Sunside: Offering nightly live jazz concerts, this charming bar will be participating on June 21st with a series of free tribute concerts to Ella Fitzgerald at 7 p.m., Sarah Vaughan at 9 p.m., and Billie Holiday at 11 p.m.!
  • A Hip Hop concert at Centre Culturel Irlandais: A large courtyard filled with a festive atmosphere and rich Irish music and Hip Hop, this young and energetic event will be taking place from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on June 21st!
  • Concert at the Musée de l'Armée: This historic monument is housing not one, but three different classical music concerts to celebrate World Music Day! Check out the different performances taking place at 8 p.m. on June 14th, 16th, and 20th for a magical experience.
  • Classical concert of Viva l'Orchestra: An orchestra of great amateurs of all ages supervised by the Orchestre National de France will be performing its seventh edition June 5th and 21st, at 7 p.m.

See all musical events playing during the week of Fête de la musique!

When was the first film created?

In March 1895, Louis and Auguste Lumière created the new art of cinema. The two brothers organized the first public performance in the Indian Room of the Grand Café in Paris.

The cinematographic world was marked by various pioneers, among which are…
  • Georges Méliès: he made the first films using special effects in 1897. He is especially famous for the first science fiction film, entitled Le Voyage dans la lune.
  • Charles Pathé: in 1907, he had the idea of renting films and he started mass production together with his brother Léon Gaumont.
  • Emile Cohl: in 1908, he made the first animated film on film rolls.
  • Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Fatty Arbuckle, Harold Lloyd, and Max Linder: from 1910, they launched a new genre, "The Burlesque", which was a huge success worldwide!

What is The Fête du Cinéma?

On June 14th, 1985, the Fête du cinéma was launched. It was an initiative of the National Federation of French Cinemas, the ministry of Culture, and the cinema professions. At the time, the spectators bought a ticket at the normal rate and received a passport booklet, called "Giant Ticket" until 1992. This ticket gave them access to all screenings at a preferential rate of 1 franc. The operation lasted one day. It now extends over four days; from Sunday to Wednesday, and many films are shown at reduced rates.

When is The Fête du Cinéma?

If you would like to celebrate the 37th edition of the Fête du cinéma this year, note that it takes place from July 3rd to 6th! This event typically takes place at the end of June or in this case, early July, to celebrate the summer by bringing film lovers and families together to have fun at the cinema. This annual summer experience only lasts four days, so be sure to make time for this exciting occasion!

How to celebrate the Fête du Cinéma?

Below we have a few suggestions of theatres that will be playing films every day that you can attend and receive a discount for during the Fête du cinéma!

Theatres to see a Film during the Fête du Cinéma:
  • Grand Rex: This beautiful cinema built in 1932 is filled with history and class, and has hosted many celebrities throughout the years including the famous director Peter Jackson! This cinema also features a great hall with three tiers of seating for the best movie experience.
  • Max Linder: This historic cinema first opened its doors in 1914 and has been providing a unique experience for film fans ever since. Check out this cinema and the mythical room of Max Linder filled with over 550 black velvet seats and a 107 square meter screen during the Fête du cinéma!
  • Louxor: Dating back to 1895, although not fully used as a cinema until the 1910s, this recently renovated cinema is a remarkable example of historic architecture from the 1920s. Its largest and most ornate room, called the Louxor, provides a luxury movie experience with many first run films!