Rare books and old magazines of theater and dance

The theater or dance enthusiast, like the researcher, is in danger of being disappointed if he looks for books or old magazines in these two fields in Paris.

Because of rising rents, the theatrical bookstores have disappeared, except The Paper Cup near the Theater of the Odeon and The Theatrical Bookstore near the Opera-Comique, which mainly distribute recent books.

Elsewhere? For magazines and newspapers, you have to discover La Galcante, a bookstore specialized in the old press, founded in 1975 by Christian Bailly, who died in 2002, former president of the Association of the Press Museum, which on 1200 m2 of warehouses, contains some treasures from the past.

The National Library of France and other institutions use this place for the research of this or that old document. In the basement, Comœdia newspapers have been preserved since 1909; magazines such as Le Théâtre and Comœdia illustrate are on the ground floor with old programs from all Parisian and provincial theaters. It’s a real pleasure to discover the numbers of the Théâtre des Nations that revealed the Berliner Ensemble or the Living Theater, or to find a 1940 program of an unknown play by Sacha Guitry, performed at the Théâtre de la Madeleine.

In the more specific register of old books, it is necessary to move to Clamart at Marc Sainte-Marie who held for fourteen years a booth of old books during the Festival d’Avignon. He has a very complete catalog of more than a thousand books on the show, which he publishes each year. Marc Sainte-Marie has, among other things, bought the library of decorator Roger Hart, or Charles Dullin. Among these books, about fifty books and documents on Russian ballets, rub shoulders with 440 books on the history of theater from 1788 to the present day.

Among his correspondents and clients: the National Dance Center, the Paris Opera Library or Ensatt. Enthusiasts or researchers will be able to cross in these places where the digital age has not yet made havoc; come and lose yourself and discover this beautiful journey in the past of the live show.


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