Best movie theaters in Paris: Grand Rex

Sladjana Perkovic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Opened in December 1932, The Grand Rex is probably the most impressive Parisian movie theater. This largest movie theatre in Europe has an immense auditorium that can host over 2,500 spectators. And this is not all. Its incredible architecture and decorations will leave you speechless. Listed as a French historical monument since October 1981, today, the Grand Rex is mostly known as a place that hosts major movie premiers as well as special events like “Marathons” or “La Féerie des eaux”. If you are a movie fan, then this is a movie theatre in Paris that you absolutely need to visit.


Jacques Haik, a rich producer and one of the pioneers of French cinema, had a very interesting dream. He wanted to build an outstanding movie theater in Paris. Haik imagined it as a place with a large ceiling and huge auditorium that could host 5 000 spectators. To make his dream come true, he hired Auguste Bluysen, a French architect, and John Eberson, a prominent American engineer. The façade of this movie theater was designed by Henri-Edouard Navarre, and Maurice Dufrene was in charge of the decorations of the main auditorium. The constriction began in 1931, and the Grand Rex was inaugurated in December 1932. During the German Occupation of France in the World War II, the Grand Rex was requisitioned and became a movie theater reserved for German soldiers. But after the war, the Grand Rex found its old glory. This movie theater was even the first place in France that installed the mechanical escalators, which were inaugurated in 1957 by Gary Cooper, a famous American actor. In 1988, the Grand Rex was equipped with the largest screen in France and even Europe. This screen, named the “Grand Large”, was designed by Luc Heipret and inaugurated by a screening of the “Le Grand Bleu”, a French film directed by Luc Besson. 


The Grand Rex is a movie theater, also known as a place that hosts special events such as the “Marathons”. The “Marathons” is an event that brings together fans of movies, like Harry Potter, Star Wars or Hunger Games. Another great event that takes place every year since Christmas 1954, in the main auditorium of this movie theater, is the “Féerie des eaux”. This show that mixes a sound, water and light, is perfect for children. They will be amazed to see a giant waterfall illuminated by colorful spots and rhythm by music. And after the show, they can enjoy a Christmas movie, like the “Grinch”.  

Photo credit © Wikipedia/Judith Borman

Rex Studios

The Rex Studios is an interactive 50 minutes audio-guided tour and a real journey into the heart of the cinema. If you are a movie lover, then you should not miss this great opportunity to visit the Grand Rex behind the screen. Not only will you learn many secrets about the seventh art, but also you will visit and admire this incredible Parisian movie theater, which is a real architectural gem. The Rex Studios tour is available all year, from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 7 pm. 

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