An icon of Parisian nights is letting us in!
(Set the mood by reading this while listening to the playlist we made specially for the occasion)
March 1st, 1978, 8 rue du faubourg Montmartre in Paris, it’s the Palace’s first day. Grace Jones is singing “La Vie en Rose” on stage, overlooking a room full of stars, politicians, ordinary people, and pillars of the Paris club scene.
The place was conceived and opened by Fabrice Emaer, and soon becomes “the place to be”. Gays and straights, rich and poor, famous people, rising stars, and neighborhood folk: they all gather at the Palace
People bring their most elegant yet rule breaking looks: underwear is worn as clothing, men become women & women become men (like for the famous Vice Versa party). Bodies move and mingle to the beats of disco, punk music, or the mind-blowing rhythms created by the DJ Guy Cevas. You could also spot concerts of world-famous artists like johnny rotten, Iggy Pop, Tina Turner, Madness, or even Prince, who did his first performance in France there.
“Le Palace is not a boîte, a ‘box’, as we French call a nightclub: it collects in an original site pleasures ordinarily dispersed: that of the theatre as an edifice lovingly preserved, the pleasure of what is seen; the excitement of the Modern, the exploration of new visual sensations, due to new technologies; the delight of the dance, the charm of possible meetings. All this combined creates something very old, which is called la Fête and which is quite different from Amusement or Distraction: a whole apparatus of sensations destined to make people happy, for the interval of a night. What is new is this impression of synthesis, of totality, of complexity: I am in a place sufficient unto itself. It is by this supplement that Le Palace is not a simple enterprise but a work, and that those who conceived it may regard themselves with good reason as artists.”
– Roland Barthes
A more high-brow and pompous version of Studio 54, the Parisian night club soon becomes a cultural hotspot where Andy Warhol, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, or Roland Barthes come to have fun, network, and plan their future collaborations.
The Palace will slowly lose in popularity when its founder passes away (1983), giving the stage to the budding house music scene.