THE MOULIN ROUGE: 135 years of feathers and sequins – Forbes France

The Moulin Rouge at the foot of Butte-Montmartre is a symbol of Paris, as famous and old as the Eiffel Tower. Writing its family history, this cabaret has spanned all ages with its vermilion light reflecting on the sidewalk and wings reminiscent of the old mills on the hill.

On October 6, 1889, almost 135 years ago, the famous Parisian cabaret Moulin Rouge was inaugurated. “The idea was to create a place that was quite spectacular for its time, with a freedom of expression that we weren’t used to in other Parisian scenes,” says Jean-Victor Clerico. Then we see the development of the French cancan, a dance symbol of emancipation. All of Paris flocks to the Moulin Rouge to fall in front of the gams. Can Queens? La Goulue, la môme Fromage, Nini Paws in the Air…

At the end of World War II, the winds of renewal swept the Moulin Rouge. “My great-grandfather bought the cabaret in 1955 and sold it to his son Jackie Clerico in 1961,” says Jean-Victor Clerico. It was at this time that the place entered a new era: the diner era. “Today we still work as a family,” emphasizes Jean-Victor. Far from going out of style, the Moulin Rouge is re-emerging under the leadership of the Clerico family, who are bringing it artistic and scenic renewal. “We want to preserve the authenticity of the place by keeping the French Cancan paintings while bringing something new.” On the menu, French gastronomy is in the spotlight with the Prestige menu, which is referenced by the Gault et Millau gastronomic guide.

With two shows every night throughout the year, Moulin Rouge never sleeps. Since the dawn of 2000, his revue Féerie has been playing on stage. It honors the great French tradition of the Music Hall. 60 artists dance and sing on the stages, in a whirlwind of costumes, rhinestones and sequins, but also lighting effects and backdrops. In 2024, Moulin Rouge will celebrate its 135th anniversary. “On the occasion of this anniversary, we are considering offering an immersive show that will tell its story. We are also preparing an exhibition in collaboration with the National Costume and Stage Center in Moulin,” explains Jean-Victor Clerico. When we ask him how he sees Moulin Rouge tomorrow, he tells us: “I hope to keep this family spirit, as well as the arts and crafts (plum, cobbler, etc.) that enrich us. Jean-Victor has no shortage of projects for Moulin Rouge: the creation of a musical, a world tour of the revue Féerie to, as he says, “bring a little Moulin Rouge abroad.” We wish him the best!


450 employees

95 artists under contract

+ 700 shows every year

Practical information:

82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris


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