Thêatre du Palais-Royal

The Théâtre du Palais-Royal is a 750-seat Parisian theatre located at the northwest corner of the Palais-Royal in the Galerie de Montpensier at its intersection with the Galerie de Beaujolais.
Originally known as the Théâtre des Beaujolais, it was a puppet theatre with a capacity of about 750 that was built in 1784 to the designs of the architect Victor Louis. In 1790 it was taken over by Mademoiselle Montansier and became known as the Théâtre Montansier. She began using it for plays and Italian operas translated into French and the following year hired Louis to enlarge the stage and auditorium, increasing its capacity to 1300. After Napoleon's decree on the theatres in 1807 introduced significant constraints on the types of pieces that could be performed, it was used for lighter fare, such as acrobatics, rope dancing, performing dogs, and Neapolitan puppets. In 1812 the theatre was converted into a café with shows.
After the July Revolution of 1830 some of the restrictions on theatres were relaxed. Dormeuil and Poirson had the theatre remodelled by Louis Regnier de Guerchy and reopened it as the Théâtre du Palais-Royal with a license to present comédies, vaudevilles, and comédies melées d'ariettes, among which were some early works by Hervé. Later he was its chief musical conductor for several years. The theatre became especially well known for presenting the hilarious comedies of Eugène Labiche. The restrictions on genre were lifted in 1864, and the theatre began to present, not only comedies such as the farces of Georges Feydeau, but also more ambitious productions including operettas, the most famous of which was probably Offenbach's La vie parisienne in 1866. The actresses Hortense Schneider and Virginie Déjazet also appeared there. The unique fire escapes were added in 1880, when the theatre was entirely rebuilt by the architect Paul Sédille.
Gustave Quinson was the theatre's director from 1912 to 1942 and presented comedies by Tristan Bernard and Maurice Hennequin. Performers included the actress Mistinguett and the actor Raimu. In the 1950s the theatre produced Paul Claudel's Le soulier de satin with Jean-Louis Barrault and Madeleine Renaud. Subsequently the theatre began reviving boulevard comedies, such as those by Marcel Achard, Feydeau, and Sacha Guitry. Performers included Daniel Auteuil, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Claude Carrière, Pierre Dux, Edwige Feuillère, and Jean Marais. Today the theatre continues to present plays and other light entertainments.