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Théâtre de la Gaîté

alias Grands-Danseurs du Roi (1772–1792), Théâtre de Nicolet (1759–1772)
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1764 | opening

(detail)1808 | alteration

(detail)1835 | alteration

(detail)1862 | demolition


"The theatre was located on the Boulevard du Temple, originally named Nicolet's marionette theatre. It became the Gaite after the upheavals of the Revolution, and was notable as being the first French theatre which was not state-aided. From 1808 it flourished, its only rival in the production of popular melodrama, panto­mime, and vaudeville being the Ambigu-Comique.  From 1825 to 1835, it was rebuilt after a disastrous fire. When the Gaite disappeared in the 1862 the name was transferred to a new theatre which under Offenbach became a home of light operetta and spectacular musical shows. "


In: Hartnoll, Phyllis, ed. The concise Oxford companion to the theatre. 1st ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.   ISBN 0-19-281102-9. p.  197



"The site of this theatre is upon the boulevard du Temple, on part of the city ditch filled up by order of Louis XIV. In 1808, it was rebuilt under the direction of M. Peyre. Its form is a parallelogram of one hundred and eighteen feet by fifty-six. The front, which is quite plain, being decorated only with ornamental joints, is pierced with five arched windows, above which are an entablature and an attic. The form of the interior is square towards the stage and semicircular in the opposite direction. It contains three tiers of boxes, exclusive of the baignoires. The two upper tiers are supported by light pillars, and a third row of pillars supports the ceiling. The proscenium is decorated with four heavy pilasters, bearing an entablature and an attic.
The interior is painted to imitate yellow marble, and the ornaments are grey. The first tier of boxes is decorated with dramatic subjects painted in cameos; the second with masks and cornucopia; and the third with garlands and musical instruments, interspersed with helmets, swords, etc. The proscenium is rich and well composed. The ceiling is ornamented in arabesques. The curtain is a plain blue drapery in ample folds. The whole of this decoration, executed in 1816, by Messrs. Besnard and Bas-signy, has an agreeable effect. "


In:  Whittaker, G. B.: The History of Paris from the Earliest Period to the Present Day: Vol. II. London, 1825 p. 521



Authors: Hartnoll Phyllis, G. B Whittaker

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