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Cultural Institutions in Paris Report Major Drops in Attendance Following Terrorist Attacks

Le Monde reports that the number of visitors returning to Paris's cultural institutions in the wake of the November 13th terrorist attacks is increasing following an initial dramatic drop. However, the road to full recovery is bumpy and unpredictable—with some venues reporting far better attendance than others.

Paris museums have taken a particularly hard hit. The Louvre reported a 30% decrease in attendance and the situation is even worse at the Pompidou Center where Benoît Parayre, director of communication, described a 50% drop, “1000 visitors per day versus the 2000 per day that had been coming to see the current Wifredo Lam exhibition.” Also suffering, the Paris Opera confirmed at least 150 cancellations for upcoming performances, 80% from foreign ticket-holders.

Meanwhile, theater and dance audiences appear to be returning in full force, at least for certain productions. Performances of Arthur Miller’s “View from a Bridge” directed by Ivo Van Hove at the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe had no cancellations. Le Festival d’Automne, a city-wide theater festival that runs through December 31st, reported no significant drop in attendance. According to a spokesperson for the festival, “Those who booked tickets are coming to the shows and we are continuing to receive reservations at a normal rhythm.”

For the past 10 days, movie theaters showing blockbuster films have been less full than normal, but audiences for smaller art films have been strong. A screening of the twelve-hour French New Wave film Out 1 by Jacques Rivette (1971) attracted 760 viewers on November 22.