Gaumont’s Paris Picture Palace

Along with “Rex,” “Regal,” “Princess,” and a few other evocative names, “Palace” suggested the aura of luxury intended for major urban cinemas, many of which mixed classical and exotic styles in their décor and architecture. Flagship cinemas like the Gaumont Palace (shown here in 1911) dominated the urban entertainment districts in which they were located and soon came to symbolize the “city” and urban values. More importantly, permanent urban cinemas, especially in France, were critical in both the development of the longer story film and the cultivation of the respectable audiences needed to legitimize them as a form of entertainment.

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