Paris' Bataclan theatre has long history

  • 14/11/2015
People warm up under protective thermal blankets as they gather on a street near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal attacks in Paris, France (Reuters)
People warm up under protective thermal blankets as they gather on a street near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal attacks in Paris, France (Reuters)

More than 100 people were gunned down at the Bataclan theatre in Paris during a concert by the US band Eagles of Death Metal.

The 1500 capacity venue, which was sold out, is one of the biggest in Paris but a Friday night out for hundreds of young rock fans was suddenly turned into "a bloodbath", for a full 10 minutes, witness Julien Pearce a reporter for France's Europe 1 radio station, told CNN.

Its genteel origins couldn't be further from that image.

The concert hall, built in 1864 in the chinoiserie style, is aptly named after Ba-ta-clan - a "Chinoiserie musical" by German-born French composer Jacques Offenbach. However its original pagoda roof no longer exists.

It is situated in eastern Paris near the spot where a policeman was killed during the deadly jihadist attacks centred on the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine in January.

Since it was reopened after restoration work in the 1970s, the Bataclan has become one of the favourite nightspots for Parisians with an eclectic program of rock and pop concerts, stand-up comedy, discos and cafe-theatre events.

Among those who have graced its stage over the years are Lou Reed, Prince and Oasis.

The building, with its large hall and balcony, is classified as a historic monument.

Friday night's events ensure that the name Bataclan will now be remembered internationally for tragedy rather than music.

The Bataclan's website was down early on Saturday.

AFP