Riots from past years had left a permanently absent air over the movie theater of Paris’ picturesque Cinémathèque Française, but once the police had cleared out the protesters, the theatergoers were ready to return to the screens.
“No one at the Cinémathèque seemed intimidated by the protesters,” Manuel Gambera, director of the cinema’s movie house, said in an interview.
He and his team decided to open “early” for the day, in hopes of attracting audiences who otherwise would have missed Sunday’s movie plans.
The atmosphere around the theater was relatively subdued, Mr. Gambera said. “We have 1,500 seats, but we don’t have any protesters, so it was orderly,” he said. The movies seemed to not dent his audience’s hunger for escapism in recent years. Cinema-goers watched “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” “War of the Worlds,” “Paris, je t’aime,” “The Great Wall,” “Amelie” and “Wonder Woman.”
Nothing quite as riotous as last time, of course.
After the demonstrations ended on March 14, Mr. Gambera scheduled a performance of a French version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and tested out special lighting in the theater. He marked the end of the demonstrations by welcoming a different audience for the Thursday performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on March 16 — a female audience. To further ease safety concerns, Mr. Gambera called a representative of the French National Front to assure himself the far-right party would not show up.
“I actually enjoyed the performance,” he said. “It was great to see audiences for the same play.”