Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I'm home sick today, but, through bouts of phlegmish coughing, managed to stumble upon this fascinating story in the Guardian. In a secret Paris cavern the real underground cinema.

Police in Paris have discovered a fully equipped cinema-cum-restaurant in a large and previously uncharted cavern underneath the capital's chic 16th arrondissement. [...] After entering the network through a drain next to the Trocadero, the officers came across a tarpaulin marked: Building site, No access. Behind that, a tunnel held a desk and a closed-circuit TV camera set to automatically record images of anyone passing. The mechanism also triggered a tape of dogs barking, "clearly designed to frighten people off," the spokesman said. Further along, the tunnel opened into a vast 400 sq metre cave some 18m underground, "like an underground amphitheatre, with terraces cut into the rock and chairs". There the police found a full-sized cinema screen, projection equipment, and tapes of a wide variety of films, including 1950s film noir classics and more recent thrillers. None of the films were banned or even offensive, the spokesman said. A smaller cave next door had been turned into an informal restaurant and bar. "There were bottles of whisky and other spirits behind a bar, tables and chairs, a pressure-cooker for making couscous," the spokesman said. [...] Three days later, when the police returned accompanied by experts from the French electricity board to see where the power was coming from, the phone and electricity lines had been cut and a note was lying in the middle of the floor: "Do not," it said, "try to find us."

No word on whether or not they had The Phantom of Liberty (or Phantom of the Paradise) in stock. Link via greg.org via BoingBoing via DMD (amazing how these stories spread).

2 comments:

Matt said...

indeed.
the romantic wants to say: "nothing controversial" but by the standards of what decade? surely there were orgies.

severina said...

What a fabulous story! And such a shame that it was discovered and discontinued....I hope there are other such secret places. It reminds me of Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere."