Part 2: The Café

The café is an intimate, yet public, lively place where one can collect their thoughts, friends can catch up, and where you can listen to the opera!

Many cafés featured real-time performances, whether colorful (and sometimes even off-color!) acts put on by popular entertainers or classical musical works in concert.

And if a show isn’t going on in the café, you can listen to a variety of performances taking place in other parts of the city live on the Théâtrophone!

An advertisement for the popular Parisian café and cabaret, the Chat Noir

It is often considered the first modern cabaret; a nightclub set up with alcoholic drinks and extravagant music acts. For emerging artists, this was the place to be, where great talent emerged. Unfortunately, these acts were often grossly underpaid, or only given free food and drinks for their efforts on stage. 

Rodolphe Salis, the owner and founder, was an extraordinary entertainer, and worked hard to make his club relentlessly energetic and exciting every night. Frequent and famous gatherers here included pianist and composer Claude Debussy, pianist and critic Erik Satie, poet Paul Verlaine, painter Paul Signac, and singer and actress Yvette Guilbert.