Monday, September 10, 2012

Paris: Palais des Glaces, 10th Arrondissement

Paris has more than its fair share of beautiful theaters. My favourites are usually those from the 1920s (with an exception made for La Pagode). The Palais des Glaces was constructed in 1924, replacing an earlier theatre on the same site.

The Palais des Glaces was named for its facade, originally covered with mirrors. I'm not sure when the mirrors were removed from the building's facade. I believe the small frames that cover much of the facade must have originally held these mirrors, and it must have been quite exciting to see light strike them and bounce off into the Rue Faubourg du Temple. 

Nonetheless, I sort of love the way the theatre looks somewhat worn today, no longer young. Glamour has been replaced with a sort of cosiness, with the neon 'theatre' sign and yellow strips at the entrance shining warmly out at the street. The sculpted relief at the centre of the facade appears to feature a folded up elephant, which makes intriguingly little sense to me.

I haven't been inside the Palais des Glaces, but pictures I've seen of the interior suggest it's quite in keeping with the exterior and I imagine it would be a good venue for performances. Over the years, it's alternated between being a theatre and a concert venue. 

Have you been inside the Palais des Glaces? Do you know what's up with the elephant?


  1. Hi Anna, I have been on this street but do not recall the façade and certainly not the elephant. I will be in Paris in just three weeks and will make it a point to check this out.

    Thank you for your comment on the Lavirotte door detail. It is a delight to hear from someone who "gets it" as I do. There is so much to love in/about Paris not the least of which is the architecture and its history.


    1. Hi! Sorry it's taken me a while to reply; everything's been a bit hectic!

      If you're in the area (and, of course, it's such a nice area, one of my favourite parts of Paris), the Palais des Glaces is worth looking at, especially at dusk with the lights. It's easy to miss, though, particularly if you're on the same side of the street. I hope you enjoy your time in Paris!

      I'm looking forward to your next Lavirotte post! I've been meaning for a while to write up a Lavirotte walking tour but probably won't have the time for another while now.

      xx Anna