At the Lido, the curtain falls on seventy-five years of feathers and frills

At the Lido, the curtain falls on seventy-five years of feathers and frills

InvestigationBy the end of the summer, Accor, the new owner of the Parisian cabaret, plans to stop its legendary review. Story of the fall of a Parisian monument, between family rivalries and artistic failure.

Demands, placards, parades… When it comes to demonstrations, Parisians are well versed. However, this Saturday, May 28, onlookers who were sunbathing in the gardens of the Salomon de Rothschild hotel, a stone’s throw from the Place de l’Etoile, opened their eyes wide at the sight of “angry » a bit unusual: about thirty well-built young people, in T-shirts and black leggings, rehearsing – “and 1, 2, 3” – a wrestling choreography.

Bluebell Girls and Lido Boys, in other words “dancers and dancers of the Lido”, intended to protest in style against the stoppage of the famous review, as emblematic of Paris as the Eiffel Tower. On May 9, three months after acquiring with Sodexo the Champs-Elysées cabaret, the hotel group Accor announced its intention to devote the panoramic enclosure to musicals. Exit servers, artists or dressers: a job safeguard plan aimed at eliminating 157 out of 184 positions, for 12 creations, is in negotiation until August 12. That’s not counting the many fixed-term or intermittent workers, as well as the hunters, feather workers or photographers living in the magazine.

Astonishment seized the world of the night. By the end of the summer, the curtain will definitely fall on seventy-five years of feathers, frills and extravagance. “It’s a monumental mess for the Parisian scene. We have the feeling that, because it is entertainment, our know-how is devalueddeplores Jérémy Bauchet, assistant ballet master and former Lido Boy. There is an incredible human and technical wealth at the Lido. A Bluebell has a unique way of walking, of presenting herself on stage, of crossing her legs… You can’t learn that at school. »

“It is not the competence of the people that is in question, but the economic model”answers Jean-François Richard, at the head of the Lido since February. “I respect the teams’ attachment to the Lido, but the losses were such that it couldn’t go on like this anymore”slice Sébastien Bazin, CEO of Accor.

“Our project is ambitious”

With an occupancy rate of 42%, on average, since 2012, the cabaret, whose backstage shows alarming dilapidation, has generated 80 million euros in cumulative losses. A slate that Sodexo had to mop up before Accor took over the operating company in February for a symbolic 1 euro. “Our project is ambitious. We want to give this house a facelift and write a new page in its history.”, insists Mr. Bazin. Even if it means resuming the interrupted score at the Théâtre du Châtelet: Mr. Bazin, who presided over this scene from March 2015 to February 2022, is supported by Jean-Luc Choplin, the former director who had made the Châtelet the kingdom of musicals until when he left in 2017.

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