The birth of the cinematic arts in Paris took place in the basement of a chic café in 1895 and over a century later both film making and film going are still central to Parisians’ lives.
From iconic movies such as “An American in Paris” to more recently, Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”, the city has been the star, or has had a supporting role, in over 1,500 movies. With an average of 350 films to choose from in any given week; the world’s largest selection of screening venues including palaces, museums and other historic buildings as well as notable multiplexes and cheaper ticket prices than London and New York, it’s no wonder that more tickets are sold here weekly than in any other European city. Given their passion for the cinematic and culinary arts, it should be no surprise that Parisians would put a new twist on that old date night standby, dinner and a movie, by blending the best of both in one location.
Why not make your own movie magic and enjoy dinner and a movie tonight!
Here are two takes on this new genre:
TAKE 1 #LES BOBINES
The brainchild of expat (French/English) owner/manager Natalie Hautecouverture, Les Bobines (the movie reels) is a real showstopper and, like a favorite old movie, you are going to want to revisit it time and again. After a successful career in corporate marketing, Natalie changed career paths and developed an award-winning concept that incorporates a restaurant on the top floor and a self-contained movie theatre downstairs; the only venue in France to do so. Les Bobines is the tangible result of her desire to enjoy time with family and friends that includes both a good meal and a good movie in a single evening; something that she found was otherwise impossible to achieve. In preparation for this new venture, Natalie studied under the tutorage of iconic chef Alain Ducasse and although she is not the chef, her influence and training are evident in the restaurant’s creations, presentation and ambiance. They offer 3 dining options: the César which includes a selection of 4 bobinettes (trademarked name for their tapas) for 26 euros; the Oscar with a selection of 5 bobinettes for 32 euros and the à la carte menu. I chose the César menu and had the foie gras burger, the tataki de saumon aux deux sésames and a skewer of scallops, each with its own accompanying salad followed by their signature dessert, vanilla mille-feuille with caramel au beurre salé. Everything was absolutely delicious, ample enough to satisfy my hunger and put me the mood for a good movie. I brought my glass of wine into the intimate theatre downstairs and lounged comfortably in one of the many loveseats provided to watch the Coen classic, “Fargo”. A different film is shown each Tuesday through Saturday evening highlighting either a particular genre or individual; for a list of the current month’s films, check out their website. In addition to offering an à la carte lunch menu daily (excepting Sunday and Monday) sans movie, there is also a Saturday brunch featuring a family-friendly film and a children’s menu (25 or 33 euros with a glass of champagne and 12 euros for the kid’s menu). The venue also makes an ideal location for private or corporate events. The food was delicious, the overall ambiance was casual but chic and the service was friendly and welcoming. In short, Les Bobines is similar to a double feature; the first show is the food and the second is the film and together they form a memorable, award-winning combination.
Address: Les Bobines, 84 rue Rene Boulanger, 75010, www.les-bobines.fr
TAKE 2 # LE ROYAL MONCEAU HOTEL
The Raffles Hotel chain is synonymous with both quality and service worldwide. That is one of the reasons why I was anxious to take part in Le Royal Monceau Hotel Sunday Night Film Club. Arriving at 18:00, I had half an hour to sip champagne while admiring and exploring the lobby area before the start of the film. The hotel has taken full advantage of its location amidst the area’s art galleries by offering its own art concierge to arrange for personalized art tours for guests; creating an in-house art gallery; having an impressive art bookstore and by featuring original art in its guest rooms, public spaces and gardens. Guests and locals alike can both take advantage of these two Film Club options each Sunday evening: The Champagne Royal which includes a glass of champagne, a choice of 3 popcorn creations by Pierre Hermes (known as the Picasso of Pastries) and a movie screening of a recent or classic movie in their elegant state-of-the-art Katara Cinema for 40 euros per person or all of the aforementioned coupled with a special 2 course dinner served in their award-winning restaurant, La Cuisine, following the movie for 95 euros per person. The experience lived up to my expectations. I just sat back in my comfortable leather loveseat, sipping champagne and munching popcorn while watching “Eyes Wide Shut”…the art of elegance and extravagance.
Address: Le Royal Monceau Hotel, 37 Avenue Hoche, 75008, www.leroyalmonceau.com