The theatre has changed its name several times, considering the time of the legendary French actress Sarah Bernhardt as the most significant stage of its history. Bernhardt bought the playhouse - known as Théatre des Nations at the time - in 1898; it was here that she appeared in the title role of Shakespeare's Hamlet to great critical and public acclaim. For twenty-five years the theatre was run by Sarah Bernhardt, also featuring her in many great roles on the stage; it said 'Théatre Sarah Bernhardt' on the façade of the building.
Châtelet, one of the oldest and most beautiful musical theatres in Paris, is set just opposite Théâtre de la Ville. Both buildings were designed as an ensemble - also featuring Place d'Châtelet - in 1860 by the architect Gabriel Davioud. The playhouse was destroyed by fire in 1871, during the Paris Commune; it was restored in 1874. In the 1960s the building underwent a radical overhaul when the interior was completely transformed; only the walls, façade and roof remained of the building's original look. In 1968 the playhouse reopened its doors as Théâtre de la Ville. The façade of the building is listed as a cultural landmark.
Théâtre de la Ville also houses Café Mistral, the favourite Parisian café of the great dance artist Pina Bausch; it was here that the Coffee with Pina film was shot.
Today, Théâtre de la Ville should be your first destination in Paris if you would like to see some of the most prominent performing artists who have managed to unlock new doors and walk some untrodden paths and are interested in young artists and world-renowned classics of the genre alike.
2 place du Châtelet
Keywords: theatre, theatres, Paris