UGC Orient Express now closing

Those last years, the UGC Orient Express cinema was my "last chance" movie theater. Although it belongs to a big group, its secluded location and its asynchronous program allow me to get a movie i missed in the high street cinemas.

The UGC Orient Express was located underground, in the Halles neighbourhood. In 90's, the UGC group opened the first UGC Cine Cité with its 15 salles then, the first of its kind in Paris, in the same commercial area. Of course, The Ciné Cité attracted all the mainstream public with its modern salles fully equiped and the sweet scent of new things. All the biggest blockbusters were showing there and there's enough room even for the independant movies too. It would be a strategic mistake to program the same blockbuster in two cinemas in the same commercial area. So the small Orient Express gets less and less priority making its 6 salles attracts less and less public. Weeks after weeks, more and more priorities goes to the Ciné Cité, keeping the small Orient Express as a "backup" cinéma, showing the biggest movies few weeks after their premiere.

That was fine. And sometimes i went there, when the movie i missed was still showing in this little cinéma. The cinema looks and feels like old time Paris (my old time Paris anyway). But i have to admit that i wasn't really faithful to it, going there only scarcely.

The cinéma was nearby the metropolitan lines so, sometimes, in the middle of a quiet movie, you can actually hear the rumbles of the train running on the other side of the walls. And it was a long time not refurbished and mice runs on the old carpeted floor and you can see them crossing the aisle, lighten by the white screen. Those who were unaware the Orient Express has special guests under the seats missed few minutes of the movie they were watching as their interest are suddenly distracted by the little rodents who runs in the shadows.

Last time i went there was few days ago, unaware that i pay the old cinema my last visit. I went to watch - yet again - the Harlock movie. One week after, they closed the cinema. Definitely.



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