Paris cinema named as world's most-visited

The Local France
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Paris cinema named as world's most-visited
Head of UGC, Brigitte Maccioni, poses at the cinema complex UGC Cine Cite Les Halles, in 2021 (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

A Paris cinema has been named as the world's most frequented, with an astonishing 2.2 million visitors in 2022.


Climbing ahead of even Burbank in Los Angeles and the Showcase Bluewater in London, Paris' UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles was rated the most visited cinema in the world, according to a ranking by Comscore for 2023.

Located in the heart of Paris -  the city with the most movie theatres in the world - UGC des Halles is found in the city's 1st arrondisement, at the Chatelet-Les Halles shopping mall, where many of the city's Metro and suburban train lines (RERs) intersect.

UGC des Halles is only one of 2,000 French movie theatres to remain open all day - from 9am until midnight.

It boasts 27 screens and 3,820 seats - a record in Europe, according to Les Echos - and, on average, the theatre also allows films to remain in the programming longer than they might in other cinemas. 


However, the success of UGC des Halles is also a large testament to the return of the cinema after the industry was heavily impacted by the pandemic.

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"The public has found its way back to theatres," Eric Marti, the head of Comscore France, said in a statement following the ranking. "[The public] has renewed its confidence in this cinema, located in the heart of Paris."

Marti also referenced the fact that the cinema has "bet on a diversified programme," since 1995, which according to Brigitte Maccioni, the head of UGC, has been the "success of UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles."

"[It] demonstrates the relevance of the model used by UGC cinemas, which promotes all types of cinema, from American blockbusters to arthouse films," Maccioni said in a press release on Wednesday.

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Across France, the cinema has gradually begun to regain its audience. In 2022, cinema attendance rose to 152 million, an increase of 59.2 percent when compared with 2021. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go, with the 2022 attendance numbers still 26.9 percent lower than the pre-Covid period, according to Les Echos. 


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