Moulin Rouge (French for "red mill") is a traditional cabaret, built in 1889 by Joseph Oller who already owned the Paris Olympia. Situated in the red-light district of Pigalle on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18th arrondissement, near Montmartre, Paris, France, it is famous for the large red imitation windmill on its roof.
The design and name of Paris's Moulin Rouge has often been imitated by other night clubs worldwide.
Notable performers at the Moulin Rouge have included La Goulue, Yvette Guilbert, Jane Avril, Mistinguett, Le Pétomane and others.
"Moulin Rouge" was also the title of a book by Pierre La Mure. This book was the basis for the 1952 movie of the same name.
Andrey Bely wrote in his 1906 letter to Alexander Blok about the Tavern of Hell at Moulin Rouge, where lackeys were dressed as devils:
Sometimes I would venture from my sepulchre to the jazz of night Paris, where having gathered the colours, I would think them over in front of the fire. I could be seen walking through a funereal corridor of my house and descending down a black spiral of steep stairs; rushing underground to Montmartre, all impatience to see the fiery rubies of the Moulin Rouge cross. I wondered thereabouts, then bought a ticket to watch frenzied delirium of feathers, vulgar painted lips and eyelashes of black and blue.
Naked feet, and thighs, and arms, and breasts were being flung on me from bloody-red foam of translucent clothes. The tuxedoed goatees and crooked noses in white vests and toppers would line the hall, with their hands posed on canes. Then I found myself in a pub, where the liqueurs were served on a coffin (not a table) by the nickering devil: "Drink it, you wretched!" Having drunk, I returned under the black sky split by the flaming vanes, which the radiant needles of my eyelashes cross-hatched. In front of my nose a stream of bowler hats and black veils was still pulsing, foamy with bluish green and warm orange of feathers worn by the night beauties: to me they were all one, as I had to narrow my eyes for insupportable radiance of electric lamps, whose hectic fires would be dancing beneath my nervous eyelids for many a night to come.
"Moulin Rouge" television & movies
On July 1, 1962, the Ed Sullivan Show was taped at the Moulin Rouge and featured American singing star, Connie Francis and France's most famous rocker, Johnny Hallyday.
Six movies have been made with the title Moulin Rouge:
- French Can Can , directed by Jean Renoir in 1955 is a fictionalized history of the Moulin Rouge.
There has also been:
- "A Night at the Moulin Rouge", a 1951 film (also circulated under the title "Ding Dong!") of burlesque acts of the "Moulin Rouge" club in Oakland, California.