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Studio Galande: In Response to ‘20 Cinémas’

Will Hutchins writing for I V Y paris


In the recent 20 cinémas post there was a glaring omission that I strongly believe needs to be brought to justice. As I occasionally write for the site I thought I wouldn’t limit myself to a small comment under the post itself but instead present my case below as to why Studio Galande in the 5ème should be in IVY’s list of the top 20 cinemas in Paris.

Ok, so the building itself may not be as architecturally beautiful as the magnificent Pagode (an authentic Japanese pagoda erected at the turn of the last century by the owner of Bon Marché as a dancehall for his wife) but even in a city chock-a-block with distinctive art house venues this one screen cinema’s idiosyncratic selection of films still manages to make it a rather unique establishment in Paris, particularly if you are a fan of doing ‘the time warp’. Again and again and again. For here at Studio Galande tucked down the Latin Quarter side street of rue Galande the cult classic of all cult classics ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ plays every Friday and Saturday night.

To make it even more fun, a different cast playing characters from the film present the screening each night. The Irrational Masters troupe are in charge on the Friday night while the official Rocky Horror French fan club, The Sweet Transvestites take over the duties on the Saturday. It’s an interactive, prop-filled, sing-along fest that often sells out well before the start of the screening despite its regularity.

Galande’s second fixed feature is ‘Paris Je t’aime’. If ever you start to fall out of love with Paris for whatever reason, this is the film to reignite your passion. Even more so for Anglophones I would dare to say due to the large amount of English speakers in the capital storylines. Though while we’re on the subject I’ll just let you know that my favourite vignette from the film is the Anglophone free ‘Place des fêtes’ by Oliver Schmitz. A tragic love story with a definite beginning, middle and end that is oh so skilfully unravelled by it’s clever narrative structure. And all in less than six minutes! Every Saturday afternoon or evening then at Studio Galande is where you want to be then for a reminder, or just further proof of why you love this city.

As for the rest of its presentations throughout the week, these could be best described as ‘recent retrospective’. Dedicating itself to showing the cream of mainly European cinema that has passed through the movie theatres of France in the last 6 months or so, Galande will normally show each film at around the same time of day, one or two days a week for a few weeks. For example, at the moment the German film ‘La Vague’, released at the start of the year in the Republique, is shown every Tuesday and Thursday morning or afternoon. It’s a great way of catching critically acclaimed films that you may have missed when they were first released.

Studio Galande work, like most of the art house cinemas in this film crazy town, on a quality over quantity rule. The difference is that they feel so strongly about the quality of the work on show that they will show it for a longer period of time. And in the case of ‘Rocky Horror’ and ‘Paris Je t’aime’ that period of time seems to be forever. I’m not saying it’s the best cinema in Paris, just that it deserves to be in the top 20. But hey, I love doing the time warp.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Check out our post on the Rocky Horror Picture Show at Studio Galande here.

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