Le Chat Noir (aka “The Black Cat“) was a 19th C cabaret/nightclub situated in a small two-roomed site on 84 Boulevard de Rochechouart in the Bohemian district of Montmartre in Paris. It was founded on 18 November 1881 by Rodolphe Salis. Today, its original location is commemorated by an historical plaque.
Le Chat Noir is considered to be the first modern cabaret nightclub where patrons were introduced by an M.C. (Master of Ceremonies) and entertained with alcohol whilst being watching various stage show variety acts which helped maintain its reputation as a bustling nightclub that was part artist salon and part rowdy music hall. It is best known by its iconic Théophile Alexandre Steinlen poster art (featured above).
As a regular spot for the many Bohemian artists, the location soon outgrew its site. Three and a half years after opening, its popularity forced it to move into larger and more sumptuous premises; a few doors down, in June 1885 to 12 Rue Victor-Masse. Its third and final move was to 68, Boulevard de Clichy.
Many famous men and women patronized Le Chat Noir. A brief example includes: Jane Avril, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Paul Signac and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
- Rodolphe Salis died on 19 March 1897.
- Le Chat Noir on Boulevard de Clichy remained popular into the 1920s.
- Today, it is a modern boutique hotel.
See also my related post: Steinlen’s Le Chat Noir of Montmartre which features a short biography of Théophile Alexandre Steinlen.
- The image above is a copy of Steinlen’s Le Chat Noir poster which I have on a cotton T-shirt, in other words, “Been There, Done That – Got the T-shirt.” In other words – C’est la vie!