ACUDB - Boulevard des theatres

Thanks to Jean-Baptiste Nicolet and his royally-approved theater, "dubbed Spectacle des Grands Danseurs et Sauteurs du Roi," the Boulevard du Temple in the north of Paris developed into what could be called a continuous fair. The theater brought in all types of entertainment, along with cafés, caterers and wine merchants. In addition to shows inside the venue, actors were hired to play out small scenarious called "parades" on a balcony in front of the theater in order to attract spectators. The construction of several theaters towards the end of the 18th century (no less than 16 new theaters built between 1774 and 1789) prompted the establishment of entertainment networks that became ongoing fairs. The Revolution merely expedited this desire to free the theater from the oppression of an Ancien Régime that prevented the public from expressing itself. Robespierre commended the educational side of theatrical arts and, on January 13, 1791, the National Assembly abolished royal privileges, unshackled the theater, and acknowledged - as human rights - author's royalties, which had been written off on August 4, 1789, along with other privileges.