Paris Theatres and Concert Halls Reopening After Terror Attack: "These Places Are Tools for Peace"

News   Paris Theatres and Concert Halls Reopening After Terror Attack: "These Places Are Tools for Peace"
The theatres of Paris are scheduled to reopen Nov. 16 in the wake of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that left 129 people dead and more than 180 wounded.

The French cabinet had ordered all theatres, concert halls and other performing spaces in Paris closed. Cinemas reopened Nov. 16.

The French production of Cats announced that it will relight with its next scheduled performance Nov. 17 with increased security measures. "Security controls have been put in place," read a statement on the show's French website. The theatre will open one hour prior to the start of each performance. We suggest that you arrive early so as to help facilitate these security measures."

The French Cats website also urged audiences to remain positive. "It is important that we continue to do our work and as a community, remain positive," a statement read.

Most of the Nov. 13 deaths came in an attack on the Bataclan theatre, where gunmen took hostages and were systematically shooting them until police stormed the venue and freed the survivors. The Bataclan remains closed indefinitely. The 1864-vintage Bataclan, which is located at 50 boulevard Voltaire in the 11th arrondissement, had been hosting a concert by a California rock group called Eagles of Death Metal. President François Hollande later visited the theatre Nov. 14, accompanied by a heavy cordon of security.

The Bataclan theatre
The Bataclan theatre

Jean-Luc Choplin, director of the Théâtre du Châtelet where Broadway's An American in Paris had its world premiere, issued the following statement: "We are in union with the Bataclan. We had doubled the security these past months, but we have to reenforce it again. And we'll spend the time required for this. Today (Nov. 14) where there is no show, there is no stage building either, or rehearsal, so that no one is allowed to enter in the theatre. We'll carry on: it is imperative to reassure the public, so it can come again in the theatres. These places are tools for peace, because we can share happiness, be together, think, feel emotions, in light or darker mood. The theatres are citizens. They'll have to be even more now. The Châtelet welcomed 10,000 students. We may have to double that amount because it is in the sharing and in the artistic education that hatred are defused. People need to have faith in their theatres." Meanwhile, on Broadway, the two big musicals set in Paris responded in different ways. Les Misérables said nothing at the theatre, but updated its social media pages, putting a tricolor filter on its logo on Facebook, and posting the quote "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise" on Twitter.


An American in Paris shared the following:

Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin issued a statement regarding the safety measures that are in place to protect Broadway theatregoers.

"Broadway is a community and we work together very closely on the safety and security of our theatregoers and employees," she wrote. "In all emergencies impacting security, we closely coordinate our efforts with the NYC Police Department and the Security personnel of the Times Square Alliance. Individual theatre responses are activated as necessary based upon the direction given by the NYC police and the specifics of the situation. Broadway has extensive security procedures in our theatres and in the theatre district with the primary purpose of protecting our theatregoers while attending our productions."

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