The concept of ‘Café-concerts’ were extremely popular in Paris in the second half of the 19th century. People used to go along to watch a show – typically mime, dance or cabaret – whilst eating, drinking and, inevitably, being rowdy. This was how the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse started when it opened its doors in 1868.
Later on, however, the 1930s represent a bleak period in the venue’s history, due to the decline in popularity of café-concert culture. The theatre’s repertoire became more and more vulgar, with the direction desperately offering increasingly sultry shows to try to attract spectators, before eventually giving up. The Second World War, however, saw various troops of singers taking to the stage, who brought the theatre a newfound popularity. In 1945, an avant-garde theatre company rented the venue, bringing with them various sketches, musical shows, parodies and poetry recitals. Among performers was a young Juliette Gréco, who made her debut on the stage of the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse, in a show named 'Victor ou les enfants au pouvoir'.
Facing a more serious threat of demolition in 1988, various influential names in the performance industry rallied round to save the theatre, and it’s been in continuous operation ever since. Listed as a historical monument since 1984, the Théâtre de la Gaïté Montparnasse is a true success story, showing the value in never giving up!
Handicap Accessible? Yes, please contact us to ensure proper seating in accessible areas
Air conditioning? Yes
Past shows at this venue