Unusual Facts at the Moulin Rouge

An impressive 600,000 people visit the Moulin Rouge every year. More than 100 years old, the cabaret is a veritable Parisian institution that one cannot simply pass up. Its atypical architecture and headline acts have attracted people of all shapes and colors to Paris’s 18th district. Symbol of Paris’s bohemian era made up of dances and shows, the Moulin Rouge has influenced history. Here are some interesting facts that you can recount to your friends at dinner while watching Féérie...

Paris’s First Electric-powered Building

The capital’s first electric building was designed by Adolphe Léon Willette. The cabaret’s recognizable color and electric-powered facade would both become emblematic of Paris. When shows began at 10 p.m., the cabaret would light up Place Blanche like a lighthouse beacon ready to welcome guests.

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A 6-Year Hiatus

In 1915 the Moulin Rouge edifice was completely destroyed by a fire. The cabaret shut down for six years until reconstruction in 1921, once the First World War had come to an end.

Photograph of the fire at the Moulin Rouge

A Record-holder

As if it wasn’t enough to have invented the French Cancan, the Moulin Rouge continues to go above and beyond expectations. Not only does it create records but it then beats them! The cabaret has gone down in history; the Guinness Book of Records states that Moulin Rouge dancers were able to lift their legs 29 times in the space of 30 seconds during the cabaret’s 125 year anniversary celebration! And then to top it off, a Féérie solo dancer lifted his leg above his head 30 times in 30 seconds!

The Moulin Rouge can lay claim to being an entertainment institution with an unusual longevity. It has survived two world wars, a devastating fire and economic crises. For more than 120 years of dance and theatre, the cabaret knows how to remain a symbol of Paris and to attract a continually evolving public all while preserving the traditions that made it successful in the first place.

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