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© Monte-Carlo SBM

The Théâtre des Beaux-Arts, built during the 1930s, was renamed the Théâtre Princesse Grace in 1981. For nearly 100 years, it has welcomed leading international actors and contributed to the Principality’s cultural reputation.

When the Monte-Carlo district was being built in the nineteenth century, theatrical life in the Principality was concentrated primarily in the Salle Garnier. It was with a performance featuring actress Sarah Bernhardt that the Monte-Carlo Opera officially opened.

To diversify and boost Monaco’s cultural scene, in 1930 the Société des Bains de Mer began construction of a complex including a cinema and theatre. Two years later, the Théâtre des Beaux-Arts, built in the art deco style, was inaugurated on Avenue d’Ostende.

SBM entrusted management of the theatre to René Blum, renowned for having given great actors such as Michel Simon and Louis Jouvet their debuts, for having co-founded the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, and for having hired the best choreographers and brought in the greatest painters to design the decor for the Salle Garnier. In 1935, René Blum invited Charlie Chaplin to the Théâtre des Beaux-Arts, where he presented a preview of his film City Lights as the core of a very Anglo-Saxon-focused programme.

© DR
© DR

From 1936, a new director, Marcel Sablon, offered a more traditional and more French-focused programme. Audiences applauded Jean Worms, Madeleine Renaud and Edwige Feuillère in productions by Sacha Guitry, Louis Verneuil, Marcel Pagnol and more.

Major stars of French chanson also came to perform at the Théâtre des Beaux-Arts, including Edith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier and Marcel Mouloudji.

In the late 1970s, work was undertaken to restore the theatre, supervised personally by Princess Grace. Based on her experience as an actress, she completely redesigned the theatre’s internal decoration, acoustics and facilities for artists, introducing more functional dressing rooms.

On 17 December 1981, Prince Rainier III and his wife officially opened the new theatre, which was renamed the Théâtre Princesse Grace.

Ever since, top stars from the acting world as well as talented young performers have continued to tread the boards at the theatre, which has also hosted leading magicians as part of the Monte-Carlo Magic Stars festival.

© Paramount publicity photographe
© DR

Now chaired by Princess Stéphanie, the Théâtre Princesse Grace is a renowned venue which contributes to the Principality’s cultural influence.

The 2020-2021 season will therefore be host to headline stars such as Monica Belluci, Stéphane Bern, Charles Berling, Guillaume Gallienne and Niels Arestrup. Every four years, the Princess Grace Theatre hosts the World Festival of Amateur Theatre.

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Théâtre Princesse Grace

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