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A page goes through an emblem of Parisian nights that attracted tourists from all over the world: the Le Lido cabaret, one of the symbols of the magazine’s tradition, will give way to a “musical show room”, its buyer decided, the hotel giant Accor, thus signing the imminent end of the feathered magazines. The management of the Lido presented on Thursday to the representatives of the staff “a reorganization project” that, in fact, will mean the disappearance of the permanent staff. Instead, he promises “the creation of a revamped musical theater program, as well as an overhaul of the dinner show and review model.”
The Lido has suffered a lot from the health crisis
Created in 1946 by the Clérico family and famous for its theater company, the “Bluebell girls”, dancers dressed in feathers with endless legs and haughty bearing, the Lido has suffered a lot like the entire sector, due to closures linked to the health crisis. : the turnover of cabarets and music-halls plummeted by 80% in 2020. The new Lido project aims to “restore this Parisian hall to its full place in the concert of the French, national and international creative scenes (. ..) thanks to an ambitious new artistic line”, the management announced in a press release.
A labor safeguard plan is planned that includes “the elimination of 157 permanent positions” out of 184, “mainly within room and artistic services”, accompanied by “reclassification and recycling measures” of employees, he added, he detailed. These are in particular “about sixty people” from the “artistic plateau”, a union source stressed to AFP, according to which most of the employees of the Champs-Élysées cabaret, which celebrated its 75th anniversary last year, are close to to retire
“There will be no storm,” assures a trade unionist
This project “will be done in agreement and in consultation with the social partners, there will be no storm”, assured this trade unionist to AFP, and concluded: “The revision of the Lido has finished”. In December 2021, the French hotel giant Accor, at the head of 5,300 hotels in 110 countries, had bought the cabaret at a loss for years from the collective catering group Sodexo, its owner since 2006. The latter had failed to relaunch the place whose “The accumulated losses amount to 80 million euros in the last decade,” said its management on Thursday.
For Dominique de Roo, at the head of the RD Plumes family business, “official plumber of the Lido for two generations”, “it is heartbreaking”. “The magic of disguises had already been lost”, for the sake of the economy in recent years, he laments to AFP, while “when you go to the Lido or the Moulin Rouge, it is to have your eyes full”.
“A Vanished Emblem of Paris”
“It is an emblem of the place in Paris that is disappearing, a bit of the image of France in the world,” commented a specialist in shows from the capital who did not want to be quoted, for whom this disappearance is “desperate.” “. The Lido will now create original shows under the direction of Jean-Luc Choplin, former director of the Théâtre du Châtelet, who was also a programmer for La Seine Musicale, according to concordant sources. His management assured this Thursday to contribute “significant investments in the renovation of the facilities”.
In 2015, the establishment began its metamorphosis by revamping its review under the leadership of Belgian director Franco Dragone, who had worked for Cirque du Soleil and put on spectacular shows, including Celine Dion’s in Las Vegas. However, this relaunch did not have the expected success.
The “vigilante” arts activities branch of FO
In early December 2021, Sodexo announced that it would sell the cabaret, a “separate activity in the portfolio” of its subsidiary Sodexo Live! that no longer “fits their growth strategy”. The group then explained that they wanted to refocus Sodexo Live! in catering and services developed with the brands Lenôtre, Bateaux Parisiens, Batobus and Yachts de Paris.
The artistic activities branch of the FO union will be “attentive to preserving the interests of the employees”, the Lido’s majority union told AFP, hoping that Accor “reclassifies as many employees as possible”. Now begins a period of negotiation of the terms of this plan with the social partners.