A Brief History of the Bataclan
When I lived in Paris in the early 1960s the Bataclan was a cinema. It had been converted into one in 1926. (Incidentally, bataclan means junk; ‘tout le bataclan’ is slang for the whole ball of wax, or all that jazz.) I don’t recall going to it: there were so many other cinemas. It was built in 1864 as a site for café concerts. You could have your dinner and listen to an act. From the outside the building looked like a Chinese pagoda: chinoiserie was the mode. Buffalo Bill and Maurice Chevalier were among those who performed. In 1969 the cinema closed and the building was transformed again into a theatre. On a later visit I once saw Jacques Brel there. The Bataclan’s website still has listings of upcoming shows. At the end of November there are supposed to be three performances by Christelle Chollet, a singer and comedian known for her somewhat off-colour appearances. She does a wonderfulpastiche of Amy Winehouse singing ‘Rehab’. If I were in Paris I’d book a ticket.