A page turns for an emblem of Parisian nights which attracted tourists from all over the world: the cabaret Le Lido, one of the symbols of the tradition of the review, will give way to a “musical performance hall”, decided its buyer, the hotel giant Accor, thus signing the imminent end of feathered magazines. The management of the Lido presented Thursday to staff representatives “a reorganization project” which, in fact, will result in the disappearance of the permanent troop. She promises instead “the creation of a renewed 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 house troupe, the “Bluebell girls”, dancers dressed in feathers with endless legs and a haughty bearing, the Lido has suffered a lot like the whole sector, from closures linked to the crisis health: the turnover of cabarets and music halls collapsed by 80% in 2020. The new project at the Lido aims to “restore this Parisian hall its full place in the concert of the French, national and international creative scenes (…) thanks to an ambitious new artistic line”, announced in a press release the management.
A job safeguard plan is planned including “the elimination of 157 permanent positions” out of 184, “mainly within the room and artistic services”, accompanied by “reclassification and retraining measures” for employees, he added. she detailed. This concerns in particular “about sixty people” from the “artistic plateau”, underlined a union source to AFP, according to which the majority of the employees of the Champs-Élysées cabaret which celebrated its 75th anniversary last year, are close to retirement.
“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, concluding: “The Lido review is over”. In December 2021, the French hotel giant Accor, at the head of 5,300 hotels in 110 countries, had bought the loss-making cabaret for years from the collective catering group Sodexo, its owner since 2006. The latter had failed to relaunch the place whose “cumulative losses amount to 80 million euros over the last decade”, said its management on Thursday.
For Dominique de Roo, at the head of the family business RD Plumes, “official plumber of the Lido for two generations”, “it’s heartbreaking”. “The magic of the costumes had already been lost”, for the sake of economy in recent years, he laments to AFP, while “when you go to the Lido or the Moulin Rouge, it’s to have your eyes full”.
“A disappearing emblem of Paris”
“It is an emblem of the place of Paris which disappears, a bit of the image of France in the world”, commented for his part a specialist in the shows of the capital not wishing 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. Its management assured Thursday to provide “significant investments in the renovation of the facilities”.
In 2015, the establishment began its metamorphosis by modernizing its review under the leadership of Belgian director Franco Dragone, who had worked for Cirque du Soleil and organized spectacular shows, including that of Celine Dion in Las Vegas. However, this relaunch did not meet with the expected success.
The “vigilant” artistic activities branch of FO
At the beginning of December 2021, Sodexo announced that it would sell the cabaret, a “separate activity in the portfolio” of its subsidiary Sodexo Live! which no longer “fits into its growth strategy”. The group then explained that it wanted to refocus Sodexo Live! on 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 “vigilant that the interests of employees are preserved”, indicated the majority union at Lido to AFP, wishing that Accor “reclassify as many employees as possible”. A period of negotiation of the terms of this plan with the social partners is now beginning.
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