10.03.2019

Cinéma Le Castillet in Perpignan/France

Perpignan is the France's most southern city with about 120.000 inhabitants, 13 km west of the Mediterranean coast. The Castillet is a famous fortification in Perpignan, partly destroyed in the early 20th century. Cinema Le Castillet is located on the plot of land left vacant by the destruction of Perpignang's historic ramparts. 
The cinema was inaugurated on November 7, 1911 in a new yellow painted building in modern style. The architect was Eugène Montès, sculptures were created by Alexandre Guénot. At that time cinemas opened normally in already existing buildings, mostly inns  and hostels. So it is one of the oldest cinema buildings in the world.
And still in activity Le Castillet can claim today the title of the oldest cinema in France. The facades and roofs are listed as historic monuments in 1997.
Joan Font (1884-1977), who personally knew the Lumière brothers, founded the cinema, which has since been owned by the family. Originally a single hall with 1.100 seats, the Castillet becomes a multisalles of six the eight screens for capacity of 1.872 seats. 
You can read on the postcard "Cinema et Skating". There was an open-air roller skating on the first floor, very fashionable at this time.
You can also see avertising for a movie Bébé. Bébé was a series of comical mute shorts made between 1910 and 1913 by Louis Feuillade. But I couldn't find among the French Wikipedia list a movie with a prince (like written on the display stand). The postcard itself was sent in 1915. 
Today Perpignan is also famous for the L'institut Jean Vigo, the second most important film cultural institution in France.

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