Le Palais des Festivals et des Congres is better known as the site of the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival, and it is only open to the public for attending events (400 per year). I had the chance to be part of a private guided tour of the building and a chance to sit in the theater where the stars sit for the film festival & walk on the stage – oh, la la!
Some interesting facts:
- the triangular building consists of 9 floors, two of which are underground with 950 parking spaces; each triangular floor is 1400 m2
- the total space size is 80,000 m2 & was inagurated in 1982
- the original casino (see photo gallery) was too small and torn down in 1978 to build a site more modern and harmonious to help highlight the city
- the building is 20% privately owned and 80% by the city
- In the smaller Theatre Debussy, with 1068 seats, the wood panels on the walls are made of “bois de poirier” (wood from pear trees) which provides such special acoustics that no microphone is needed on stage
- the “tapis rouge” (red carpet) that the stars walk up on consists of 24 steps and during the festival is changed (560 m2 middle section only) two times per day
- otherwise, there are red LED lights in the steps, creating a faux red carpet
- the film festival is the 3rd largest media event worldwide, behind the Olympics and World Cup
- there was no film festival in 1948 and 1958 due to lack of sponsor funds and it was stopped mid-way in 1968 out of respect for the demonstrations taking place in Paris
- there are 8-12 people on the film festival jury, who must view each film at least once and sign as proof – there are around 90 films entered in the competition
- the goal of the film festival is to help promote unknown films that have not yet been seen by the public
- there is a special row of seats in the main theater for the actors who are in the film being shown to sit
- the flat screen is 18 x 10m and is the largest in Europe
- the sound comes from behind the screen which is perforated to allow sound to pass through – there are “grandes oreilles” who are sound specialists to test the sound in case of needing any adjustments (like “les nez” perfume specialists but for sound)
- films are sub-titled in French and English only
- it costs 9,000 Euros to rent the film theater
Who is the largest sponsor for the Cannes Film Festival? (guess in comments box)
Do you know these stars ?
PHOTOS: (some photos courtesy of Jean Mellinger)
The view on the ride home on the train was splendid as well!