(from France24, 5/13; Photo: Dancers perform at the Lido cabaret in Paris on September 10, 2019. © Christophe Archambault, AFP.)
High-kicking showgirls and nightly cabaret shows at the famed Parisian Lido club on the Champs-Elysees are set to be a thing of the past after the venue’s new owner confirmed mass lay-offs on Thursday.
Created in the aftermath of World War II, the Lido has drawn fans for more than seven decades with its racy dance routines featuring towering women in feathers, high heels and little else.
But though it has sought to modernise its shows and adapt to the times, the venue has been losing money for years and changed hands at the end of 2021.
The new owner, French hotels giant Accor, told staff on Thursday it would lay off 157 of 184 employees, including its “Bluebell girls” troupe of dancers, according to several sources who spoke to AFP.
“The Lido is finished,” one trade union representative said on condition of anonymity, adding Accor intended to turn the prime real estate into a venue for other musical events.
“All the artistic staff, meaning around 60 people, will disappear,” the source added.
Cabaret dancing first appeared during France’s “Belle Epoque” at the end of the 19th century, when the French capital was a hotbed of artistic creation.
The Moulin Rouge remains the best-known show in the city and is still going strong, thanks largely to the publicity from the 2001 film of the same name by Baz Luhrmann.