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The Bataclan theater in Paris: From music venue to killing ground

Rappler.com
Facts about the historic Bataclan concert hall, also the site of a terrorist attack in Paris Friday night, November 13

BATACLAN. Outside view of the Bataclan theater, as the French Special Forces light the building which was the scene of a hostage situation, in Paris, France, 14 November 2015. Photo by Yoan Valat/EPA

MANILA, Philippines – Le Bataclan, a popular concert hall and theater in eastern Paris, was the scene of a violent attack and hostage-taking Friday night, November 13 (November 14 in Manila). (READ: Over 120 killed in Paris attacks

Concertgoers at a sold-out show by American rock group Eagles of Death Metal described the terrifying situation as a “bloodbath,” recalling scenes of confusion and panic. Latest reports place the death toll at over 120, and the Bataclan attack is the deadliest of what appears to be a series of attacks on the French capital. 

Below, a few facts about the historic Bataclan concert hall:

  • The venue, of an Asian-inspired design, was built in 1864 by the architect Charles Duval. Bataclan got its name in reference to Ba-ta-clan, the operetta with music by Jacques Offenbach. But the name, according to metro.paris, could also be translated to “all that jazz” or in reference to a phrase meaning “the whole caboodle.” 
  • The building, with its large hall and balcony, is classified as a historic monument. According to Cinema Treasures, it has since gone through several renovations, and the original pagoda-like features are gone.

Here’s an image of the venue in the daytime, via Instagram:


 

  • Since it was reopened after restoration work in the 1970s, the Bataclan has become one of the favorite nightspots for Parisians, with an eclectic program of rock and pop concerts, stand-up comedy, discos and cafe-theatre events. 
  • According to The Guardian, it has a capacity of 1500 people, standing. It’s located on Boulevard Voltaire, near the site of another 2015 terror attack, the Charlie Hebdo killings. According to Google Maps, it’s a 7-minute walk away. 
  • Among those who have graced its stage over the years are Lou Reed, Prince, Robbie Wiliams, Edith Piaf, and Oasis. The famous French entertainer Maurice Chevalier also sang here, particularly in the earlier part of his career. Lonely Planet calls the location Maurice’s “debut venue.” 

 

According to nbcnews.com, members of the band Eagles of Death Metal are safe, but not all of the crew members have been accounted for. The group posted this statement on their official page:

We are still currently trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew. Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation.

Posted by Eagles Of Death Metal on Friday, November 13, 2015

 

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. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com

More on the Paris attacks:

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