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Le Lucernaire – culture in Montparnasse area


a.jpgWhen walking in the long serpentine metro corridors the posters inform you about various theatre performances, museum exhibitions, concerts and travel destinations. Free newspapers and magazines distributed in the metro do the same, they try to attract you to numerous possibilities of Parisian cultural and gourmandise life. The last days the newspapers „A Nous Paris“ informed the public about the theater play of Nathalie Sarraute „Pour un oui ou pour un non“ (in translation something like „Because of Nothing“). When reserving the tickets you find out that the play is performed in the small theater „Le Lucernaire“ in the Montparnasse area and you wait for the surprise. You are not only curious to know if the play is worth seeing but also what the theatre will be like, since Paris permanently unveils its secrets, its endless richness, its charm.

When entering Le Lucernaire place, passing by the tables with drinking anb.jpgd smoking (as is typical for artistic Paris) „bonvivants“, intellectuals or artistic souls you realize that you are entering a cultural micro-world. „Le Lucernaire“ used to be a factory, what you notice easily from the ceilings and staircases of this place which offers several theater halls, cinema rooms, photographic exhibitions, bar and a restaurant. „Le Lucernaire“ place has a design of a typical Parisian street. Under your feet you feel an authentic Parisian cobblestone pavement, right in front of the cash-desk there is a typical „Wallace“ fountain, two green benches, exactly the same as you can see in many Parisian parks.

Some interesting facts from the history of this factory transformed to an c.jpgart centre: „Le Lucernaire“  was established in 1968 by Christian Le Guillochet and Luce Berthommé. In 1975 „Le Lucernaire“  was moved to the street Notre-Dame des Champs in the Montparnasse area and started to occupy 1 300 m2 of an old factory which used to produce burners. In 2004 when the art centre lost the financial aid, it was acquired by the publishing house l'Harmattan. And today in the entrance hall there is a bookstore selling the books of this publisher, what offers a pleasant waiting time for your cinema or theatre performance turning the pages of the books. Le Lucernaire is a crossroad of theatre, cinema and photography.

After the performance we get out from the small theatre room, filled with re1.jpgd cushioned benches, pleased by the actors performance and the thoughts of the play, in which a long-time friendship of two elderly men gets radically broken because of an impertinent intonation when pronouncing „an innocent remark“, where it is brilliantly shown that there is a gap between  a rich aristocrat and an eternal poet, in spite of their strong and long relationship: a gap created by a showy happiness and an inexplicit jeaulosy. The evening ends in the bar of the Lucernaire with a glass of red wine, Porto or a champagne and when in a good mood of the Friday night you leave the place of the past factory, you notice that at the table by the exit are sitting with their friends the actors of „your“ theatre play, with a cigarette in the hand and a deserved glass of red wine.

Address: Le Lucernaire - 53 rue Notre-Dame des Champs, 75006 Paris. Metro: Line 12 station Notre-Dame des Champs, line 4 station Vavin or Saint Placide or line 6 station Raspail. Advice: in the bar from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m. it is good to use the „Happy Hours“, 50cl glass of beer for 4 euro, 50cl of fruit cocteil for 3 euro.

Maria Dopjerova-Danthine, Paristep