Paris’ Bataclan theatre: From music venue to killing ground

A soldier stands by victims in the 10th district of Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. (AP)

More than a hundred people were gunned down at the Bataclan theatre in Paris late Friday during a concert by the U.S. band Eagles of Death Metal.

The 1,500 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.

Situated in eastern Paris it is near the spot where a policeman was killed during the deadly militant attacks centered 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 favorite nightspots for Parisians with an eclectic programme 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 Saturday.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:57 - GMT 10:57
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