Being in Paris when you don't speak French can be quite challenging for example as you go buy a croissant at the boulangerie or going grocery shopping, in these cases you can try and understand French people by using signs or asking them to repeat. However not speaking French can be a problem when you go to the movies or to the theater because you can't ask people to repeat and you'll spend the movie trying to understand it. Tourists and expats can now enjoy a play or a movie in Paris, the capital is a cosmopolitan city and a melting pot so you can easily find English speaking movies and plays.
Seing a play in a Parisian theater is a dream that we all share. And you can do it even if you don't understand French. Indeed a lot of theater hall have plays with French and English surtitles and even some plays in English with international programs such as the Théâtre Gérard Philipe or MC93. Here's a non-exhaustive list of Parisian theater where you can go:
You can even go to the prestigious Parisian Opera of Bastille and Garnier where most of the plays have English surtitles. In these theaters you'll see classic French plays such as Les Fourberies de Scapin (Scapin the Schemer) and famous international plays in French with English surtitles such as Hamlet and Carmen.
From classic to comedy, circus or musical, you’ll find any type of show you want in Paris and around. Cyrano de Bergerac, Chicago the musical, How to become a Parisian in one hour…There are enough shows to please everyone. If Operas and ballets are your thing head to Aulnay-sous-bois where they'll be retransmitting shows from the Metropolitan Opera of New-York.
Take a look here if you are looking for more exciting events and shows near Paris center.
You're in Paris and the movie you've been waiting for just hit movie theater but sadly you don't speak French ? That's not a problem! Most of Parisian movie theater always have movie screenings in VOSTFR meaning in original version with French subtitles, the next time you're thinking of going to the movies look for these letters. It's easier to find VOSTFR movies in big movies companies such as MK2, UGC, Gaumont and Pathé ( some Pathé locations only have French dubbed movies so keep an eye out). You can also find movies in English in independent movie theaters such as Studio 28 and Le Champo. Check the Cinémathèque Française for a larger catalogue and during summer head to the parc de la Villette for outdoor movie screenings in VOSTFR. If you're into classics head to the CGR movie theater in Les Lilas where they'll be screening classic movies and some of them will be in VOSTFR.
French cinema has so much to offer that the company Lost in Frenchlation decided to promote it. Thanks to them, the Parisian international community gets to learn about French culture and exchange about it with one another.
They screen French films with English subtitles, with drinks before or after the film, at independent cinemas in Paris.
Lost in Frenchlation was born when the co-founders Matt (who is Australian) and Manon (who is French) came to realise that the non-French speaking community in Paris (e.g. expatriates, international students, tourists, etc.) were excluded from enjoying an integral part of French culture – their cinema. It was impossible for the international community to enjoy the amazing French films that native Parisians were talking about because there wasn’t a single cinema in Paris that was showing them with English subtitles! This meant that people were still watching American films in Parisian cinemas and missing out on a golden opportunity to become even more immersed in Parisian culture by enjoying one of France’s greatest arts – cinema.
So that’s why Lost in Frenchlation exists: to bring French art and culture to the international community through films.
Check out their program on their Facebook page or their website!