Nouveau Cirque

The Nouveau Cirque (“New Circus”) was a circus located in Paris at 251 Rue Saint-Honoré. It was owned by Joseph Oller, co-founder of the famous Moulin Rouge. It was inaugurated on February 12, 1886 and closed on April 18, 1926 and was demolished. 

The arena could be lowered by a hydraulic system to create a water basin for aquatic performances. It was one of the few buildings in Paris at the time to be completely lit by electric lights. It was an upscale establishment; patrons were required to wear formal attire.

Nowadays a plaque remembers the famous clowns Foottit and Chocolat who performed at the Nouveau Cirque. It was placed there after the succes of the French film “Chocolat” about the life of slave-born clown Chocolat. The plaque reads: “Here, at the Nouveau Cirque Raphael Padilla known as the “Clown Chocolate” (c. 1868-1917), born a slave in Cuba, and Georges Foottit (1864-1921) invented the clown comedy, associating the White Clown and Auguste”.


251, Rue Saint-Honoré
75001 Paris

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