The story of Palais des Glaces

From “Bijou” to “Palais des Glaces

1876 ​​Information reports the construction of a new song establishment at this height of the suburb, inaugurated under the name "Boléro Star". The register of the authors' society indicates, on October 30, 1877, the creation of a small dramatic work "The Monkey's Skin" by C. Max, F. Steven and G. Chaucin. The same register indicates another creation, on February 1, 1882: "Who's next?" At that time, the hall was already called “Bijou Concert”.

1891 to 1894 Albert Schrmeck, caf-conc specialist, took over the management before founding the "Folies Saint Antoine" in the 10th arrondissement. The “Bijou” was then directed by Paul Ruez, future music hall potentate.

August 1895 Paul Ruez, called to high destinies ("Parisiana", "Folies Bergères", "Olympia", "Moulin Rouge" and "Printania" which he created), gives way to Georges Wacquez who, for the two years during his first mandate, created eighteen pieces, in addition to the traditional concert part. Several directions then follow one another.

November 29, 1902 Paul Dosogne is the first to have the idea of ​​changing the type of establishment. In 1903, he inaugurated the "Bijou Théâtre" which only presented dramatic works for a little more than one season, without ever managing to really fix an audience on its new formula.

November 14, 1903 The "Bijou", a music hall, reopens its doors, under the direction of E. Keppens and it is once again a success: the room is always full. However, Keppens retired the following year.

September 1904 A former actress from the "Gymnase", Lucienne Wekins, carried out major restoration work and reopened under the name of the "Bijou Théâtre". The bill was made up of covers of old boulevard hits (including the famous “Maître de Forges” by Georges Ohnet). The public does not follow and Mrs. Wekins, discouraged, gives up.

February 1905 Albert Schrameck takes over the direction and returns to the concert. The “Bijou” regains for a short period some of its former fashion. In October of the same year, the artist Georges Cellier reopened. It lasts eighteen months. Then begins an infernal waltz of directions (nearly 10 in 5 years!).

1912 Since the appearance of cinema, theaters have had to adapt to public taste. After six months of closure, the “Bijou” concert cinema opens its doors. Singing tricks share the bill with silent films.

1924 The theater and its “fin de siècle” architecture are destroyed and the Grand Cinema of the Palais des Glaces is built. Its facade, covered in mirrors, earned it its new name.

1953 No more mirror on the facade. Screening of The Quiet Man by John Ford, with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

1970 The hall is transformed into a music hall and concert hall. Big names perform there including Nina Simone, Marcel Dadi, Touré Kunda and the Clash...

1977 “Punk Night” with the first concert of the group Police in Paris with Sting, Henry Padovani (guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums).


Excerpt from “Our punk years 1972-78” by Christian Eudeline (Denoël) “It was at this moment that the explosion occurred: 77 was truly the punk year with, for example, the Palais des Glaces festival in which we could see Clash, the Damned, Jam, Generation X and for which Yves Adrien came out of his long exile in Verneuil where he only listened to Sinatra."

1980 The Palais des Glaces is rented to Mr. Réville and becomes a theater again. Among its programming we can note "Hunting scenes in Lower Bavaria" by Martin Speer (1980), "The condemned to death" by Jean Genet (April 1986) and "Le Grand Meaulnes" after Alain-Fournier (September 1986) .

1988 The theater is bought by Jimmy Lévy who transforms it into a true temple of the “One Man Show” and comedy shows. The list is long of comedians who have graced the stages of the Palais des Glaces.

La Madeleine Proust was the first show produced in January 1988. In September 1988, it was for a show entitled "The Elephant Has Fallen" that the facade was decorated. The drawing of this elephant was created by Benoît Dcale, painter and illustrator.

Then we will remember: Jango Edwards (1988), Les Vamps (1989, 1991 and 1995), Pierre Palmade (1990), Jean-Marie Bigard (1992), Chevallier et Laspalles (1992), Patrick Timsit (1993), Marc Jolivet ( 1994), Elie and Dieudonné (1996), Gad Elmaleh (1996), Eric and Ramzy (1998), Patrick Bosso (2000), Virginie Lemoine (2001), Didier Bénureau (2002).

April 2, 2002, Jean-Pierre Bigard signs a commitment to purchase the theater. Since July 1, 2002, it is he who has now perpetuated the tradition by programming humor and entertainment shows. It creates several gauges in the large room with 270/400/500 seats.

July 4, 2022, the Palais des Glaces is taken over by Mickael Chétrit, David Boukhbza and Rubens Hazon. Major renovation work is underway at the place as well as a change to the logo and the graphic charter of the name.

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Série d'images représentants l'histoire du Palais des Glaces au fil du temps