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Paris Story

photo - The Paris Story auditorium

ABOVE: Seats await spectators in Paris Story's basement theatre.

Paris Story is a tourist attraction with three components:

  • photo - Paris Story signParis Story, an audiovisual show that compresses 2,000 years of Parisian history into 50 minutes of slides, sound, and commentary by a holographic Victor Hugo;

  • Paris Miniature, a model in the theatre lobby with touch-screen descriptions of major sites and sights;

  • Paris Experience, a series of short films on video screens in the theatre lobby, with five themes: "Paris and the Seine,"  "Paris architecture and monuments," "Paris on foot," "Paris by night," and "Hidden and unusual Paris."

The main attraction, Paris Story, offers a useful (if pricey) orientation for first-time visitors to Paris who aren't familiar with the city's history, layout, and sights. The show's narration is a bit corny, and the slide-show technology is from the pre-digital era, but the color images are superb. The show may be worth the cost if it's raining, your feet are weary, or you have euros to burn. (€10 for adults, €6 for children ages 6-18, or €26 for a family of two adults and two children when we last checked prices in mid-2011).

Paris Miniature and Paris Experience are useful bonuses, especially if you arrive between shows and have time to kill. A gift shop next to the ticket office is also worth a quick browse. (I found an excellent French-language history of the Paris Métro, Clive Lamming's Métro Insolite, among the books on sale.)

Where and when to visit:

photo - Victor Hugo mannequinParis Story is at 11b rue Scribe, close to the Fragonard Perfume Museum (free) and the Opéra Garnier (which is well worth the admission fee). It's open every day of the year, with hourly shows from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. You can book ahead through our partner, Viator (see our Paris Tours page), but it's easier--and quicker--to buy tickets on the spot with cash or a credit card.

Tip: The theatre is in a basement, and the narrow entrance at ground level is easy to miss. Look for the "Paris Story" sign in the window (top inset photo) and the top-hatted mannequin of Victor Hugo next to the doorway.

For more information, including prices for families and groups, visit www.paris-story.com.

 

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