Cinéma La Clef is an emblematic movie theater located in the “quartier latin” of Paris, originally known for supporting under-represented genre and rare art films. After La Clef’s owner, who was planning to sell the building, closed the venue in 2018, the non-profit organization, Home Cinema, decided to occupy the place in order to protect it from real estate speculation. The project aims to not only save the building but to preserve what has been built up collectively in the past year’s occupation: a hybrid space with two screening rooms that can host eclectic and collective programs and an accessible workspace for young filmmakers. With its open way of functioning, with room for transmission and experimentation, the cinema would continue to be a unique place in Paris to explore cinematographic culture communally. Thus forming a veritable third space where one can gather and meet through cinematic experience.
After one year of occupation, 300 screenings, more than 100 guests, constant support from moviegoers, filmmakers and technicians, media, institutions and politicians, there is so far no long-term sustainable solution to save La Clef.
« Ce qui me console, de toutes façons, c’est de savoir qu’il y a toujours quelque part dans le monde, à n’importe quelle heure, quand ça s’arrête à Tokio ça recommence à New-York, à Moscou, à Paris, à Caracas ; il y a toujours, dis-je, un petit bruit monotone mais intransigeant dans sa monotonie, et ce bruit, c’est celui d’un projecteur en train de projeter un film. Notre devoir est que ce bruit ne s’arrête jamais. »