Théâtre Pigalle

Year: 1929

Author: Jean Cocteau (1867 - 1963)

Artist: Germaine Krull (1897 - 1985)

Publisher: Draeger

Théatre Pigalle, cover

Benefactor Henri de Rothschild let his son Philippe de Rothschild coordinate the construction of the new Théâtre Pigalle. A team of architects, designers and technicians was first sent into Europe to gather information about the most recent developments in stage technology. They built an ultramodern theatre of which the lighting technique and the Art Deco style were especially perceived as trendsetting at the time. No ornaments, no overwhelming amounts of space, like in opera houses, but a theatre in which everything was geared towards the stage.

The auditorium, which was furnished in high-quality wood, was not exceptionally large with its 1500 seats, but the stage was: 22 metres wide, 20 metres deep and 48 metres high. It was fully accommodated to the demands of the modern stage. Quick changes of scenery were possible, and several areas of the stage could be used simultaneously. The architects were Charles Siclis, Henri Just and Pierre Blum, of whom Siclis was also responsible for the decorations. Before the opening in October 1929, this brochure appeared with photographs and an introduction by Jean Cocteau. Jean Carlu,a friend ofPhilippe de Rothschild, designed two posters to advertise the new theatre:'Feu du ciel' (printed byCourbet) and 'Eclairages, machineries' (printed byChachouin). The latter was also used in a smaller format for the title page of the promotion booklet, which was printed by Draeger.

The first performance, Histoires de France (in 14 scenes) was given by Sacha Guitry. Jouvet also directed plays there for a few years. After the war, the building was no longer used for performances, and it was torn down in 1959 to make way for a parking garage.

Bibliographical description

Description: Théâtre Pigalle : ses éclairages, sa machinerie / [textes de Jean Cocteau et René Lara ; photogr. de Germaine Krull ; titre de Jean Carlu]. - [S.l. : s.n.] ([Paris] : Draeger), 1929. - [24] p. : photographs ; 29 cm

Printer: Draeger

Shelfmark: Koopm A 250


  • Michel Corvin, Dictionnaire encyclopédique du théatre. Paris, Bordas, 1995
  • Jean Carlu: Rétrospective. Paris: Musée de l'Affiche, 1980
  • Michel Wlasikoff, Histoire du graphisme en France. Paris, Les Arts décoratifs, 2005