Paris' Bataclan theatre: From music venue to killing ground

Published November 14, 2015
The body of a victim is seen covered, along the sidewalk outside a cafe at the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. —Reuters
The body of a victim is seen covered, along the sidewalk outside a cafe at the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. —Reuters

PARIS: More than a hundred people were gunned down at the Bataclan theatre in Paris late Friday during a concert by the US band Eagles of Death Metal.

The 1,500 capacity venue, which was sold-out, is one of the biggest in Paris but a Friday night out for hundreds of young rock fans was suddenly turned into “a bloodbath,” for a full 10 minutes, witness Julien Pearce a reporter for France's Europe 1 radio station, told CNN.

Know more: More than 120 people killed in Paris terror attacks

Its genteel origins couldn't be further from that image.

The concert hall, built in 1864 in the chinoiserie style, is aptly named after Ba-ta-clan — a “Chinoiserie musical” by German-born French composer Jacques Offenbach. However its original pagoda roof no longer exists.

Situated in eastern Paris it is near the spot where a policeman was killed during the deadly jihadist attacks centred on the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine in January.

Since it was reopened after restoration work in the 1970s, the Bataclan has become one of the favourite nightspots for Parisians with an eclectic programme of rock and pop concerts, stand-up comedy, discos and cafe-theatre events.

Among those who have graced its stage over the years are Lou Reed, Prince and Oasis.

The building, with its large hall and balcony, is classified as a historic monument.

Friday night's events ensure that the name Bataclan will now be remembered internationally for tragedy rather than music.

The Bataclan's website was down early Saturday.

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