Hyper Chouette: Pirate catacomb cinema discovered in Paris

Holy Moley, damn, wow, whoa, this is possibly the coolest thing I've ever heard: a full-scale modern movie theater was discovered in an uncharted underground amphitheater carved out of the catacombs of Paris. It's near Trocadero, the Palais de Tokyo, and the Cinematheque.

After French police stumbled across it during a training exercise, they returned with officials from the electric company, only to find the power and phone lines had been cut. A note on the floor read, "Do not try to find us."

Police found tapes (helas, not prints) of "a wide variety of films, including 1950s film noir classics and more recent thrillers." Check back for a detailed program; I'm on the story.
According to radio interviews, a "cataphile" group called the Perforating Mexicans is claiming responsibility for the cinema. Don't worry, the PM said, there are "a dozen more where that one came from." [via BoingBoing]

In a secret Paris cavern, the real underground cinema [Guardian UK]

[update: RTL Radio didn't speak with a Perforating Mexicans member, but with Patrick Alt [sic, his name's Saletta], an author/photographer and expert on the catacombs. His 1990 book, "A la dÈcouverte des souterrains de Paris," ("Discovering the Paris Underground") is apparently a bible of explorateurs urbains.

They also spoke to director Lazar Kunsman, whose short films were screened in the cinema. He's a friend of the group, known in French as "La Mexicaine de Perforation." The cinema, he claimed, was part of a "multiplexe," known as "Les ArËnes de Chaillot," {The Chaillot Arenas). Still no specifics on the programming choices, and Kunsman doesn't show up anywhere in the Monde Googlique.

Un cinÈma souterrain a ÈtÈ dÈcouvert [RTL Radio, in French, audio, too]
Another article mentioning "Alt"/Saletta [Agence France Presse, in English]
Sexy underground photos of Paris's Sewer Museum [Lightningfield.com]]

[10/3 update: Read more on the meaning behind "La Mexicaine de Perforation"]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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