In the hands of the same family since the 1930s, Le Balzac is one of the last remaining independent cinemas on the city’s right bank. The vaguely art deco interiors are worth a visit in themselves, but it is above all the programming and the introduction of each film by owner Jean-Jacques Schpoliansky that give the cinema its unique edge.
It is often said that the Parisians never go to the Champs Elysées, but Le Balzac is one of the few exceptions to that rule. Although the area is now dominated by international brands, Schpoliansky has been fighting for many years to keep the district culturally relevant.
On top of the regular film screenings, Le Balzac also has a special event one Sunday each month for children, transmissions of Opéras with champagne served beforehand in the foyer, and occasional gastronomic events organised by the cinema’s Michelin-starred neighbours.