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Meet You at the Movies in August

Paris is weird in August.

The city empties out of its residents, overfills its monuments, museums and tourist sites with visitors and allows cars to park anywhere without giving fines (since there are so few anyway). Thriving businesses shut down so the owners can head to the beaches and countryside caring little about their desperate clientele. There are fewer dogs and virtually no poop on the sidewalks. The buses and Métro run less frequently and the streets are so void of cars that you can safely cross without even looking at the traffic lights. The noise level is reduced to a whisper and there is a lot more exposed skin and bad body odor.

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August leaves us with a shell of a metropolis. It’s for this reason the administration created such things as Paris Plage to amuse us poor pathetic Parisians in Paris who have remained in the month of August. And there is another great reason to be in Paris in August (besides the reduced traffic, reduced noise, reduced doggy poop), the annual “Cinéma au clair de lune” film festival. I treasure it and yearn for it year after year.

Created in 1988, the Forum des Images has presented a series of movies by moonlight, projected on large inflatable screens somewhere in Paris…a park, a garden or a lawn…in a place that relates somehow to the film itself. One year we saw The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956) with Gina Lollobrigida and Anthony Quinn with Notre Dame as our backdrop — it was spectacular! On the lawns of the Butte Chaumont, we watched Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and on the Canal St. Martin we gloried in watching the 1938 film Hôtel du Nord, with the real Hôtel du Nord in the background. The evenings are memorable, to say the least.

This year, the program alternates between classic and unsung treasures, in color or black and white, from comedies to  thrillers, representing the Paris of yesterday and today. At the Place des Vosges, you will hold your breath while prisoners are working to dig a hole to freedom, at the Trocadero, you will learn along with Audrey Hepburn how to steal a million dollars, you will discover Belmondo vigilante in fear of the city, Vanessa Paradis as a monster in Paris and Gainsbourg as a hero.

The films start at 9:30 p.m. and admission is, of course, free! There is some seating, but don’t count on getting one unless you get there early. And don’t forget to wear something warm, as the cool night air can be chilly. The best way to enjoy the films is to take a picnic about 7:30 p.m., spread your blankets and your picnic goodies, and take in the relaxing and fun summer event with your other August-in-Paris friends!

The first film is tomorrow night is Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris — where else?, but in Montmartre of course!…at Square Louise Michel, entrance at Place Saint-Pierre (18th), M° Anvers. No one wants to miss this one, right? But wait, here’s the rest of the line-up:

Friday, August 2nd
Le Trou by Jacques Becker
Place des Vosges (4) – M ° Chemin Vert or St. Paul

Saturday, August 3rd
Gainsbourg, Vie Héroïque by Joann Sfar
Parc Montsouris, entrance at the corner of rue Nansouty and avenue Reille (14th) – RER Cité Universitaire

Sunday, August 4
How to Steal a Million by William Wyler
Jardins du Trocadero, facing the fountains (16th) – M ° Trocadéro

Wednesday, August 7
Tu m’As Sauvé la Vie by Sacha Guitry
Parc André Citroën on the square, between the two large greenhouses, 15th – M ° Balard

Thursday, August 8
Panique by Julien Duvivier
Parc de Choisy, main entrance at avenue de Choisy (13th) – M ° Tolbiac or Place d’Italie

Friday, August 9
Peur sur la Ville by Henri Verneuil
Place des fêtes (19) – M ° Place des Fêtes

Saturday, August 10th
Un monstre à Paris by Eric Bergeron
Esplanade des Invalides (7th) – M ° Invalides

Sunday, August 11
Diabolo Menthe by Diane Kurys
On the Lawn at Parc Reuilly (12th) – M ° Porte de Charenton

For more information and to plan your picnic and movie-going, visit

A la prochaine…

adrian pdv 1-5-09Adrian Leeds

Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC

Respond to Adrian


hgtv intl logoP.S. We just received word that another new episode will air on Wednesday, August 28th at 10:30 p.m. EST and 1:30 a.m. EST!!! — “Planning a Future in Paris, France,” Episode HHINT-5612H — Dr. Jayne Lee fell so in love with Paris that she geared her career in medicine towards moving there. Soon enough she found a job practicing telemedicine and fell in love with Edouard. But for these newlyweds, buying an apartment in one of the most coveted and expensive cities in the world isn’t as easy as falling in love. Property Consultant Adrian Leeds searches for a compromise when House Hunters International goes to Paris, France.

Full details for each episode is available at Adrian Leeds on House Hunters International.

P.P.S. On your next trip to Paris you can get the answers to your most urgent questions about the City of Light that will save you time, hassle and needless expense with Practical Paris, written by veteran tour operator Karen Henrich. This handy guide is downloadable for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, plus digital formats (PDF) for the Kindle and iBookstore. Visit our Publications Web page to get your copy now!


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