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MK2 Bibliothèque
by Georgina Oliver

Karmitz’s multiplex à la française

Nothing to do with "Mark Two" Jaguars, or Mount Everest's K2 face — MK2 Bibliothèque is "just" France's latest cultural "exception." Launched in February, by Marin Karmitz — a filmmaker/producer/movie theater tycoon with an alternative vision of what "going to the flicks" should be — this multiplex à la française is zee cinematic event of the season. Located on a triangular terrain alongside Paris' futuristic TGB "Très Grande" national library, its "ship-shape" white building by mainstream architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, houses 14 cinemas, three restaurants and an ultra-cool "Limelight" bar. Plus... An mk2 DVD store. A Harmonia Mundi classical and world music outlet. And, several exhibition spaces that will show contemporary experimental art in association with 13th arrondissement galleries.

MK2 Bibliothèque's Director of Development — Karmitz's son Nathanaël — describes the 30E million project as a "multiplaces, rather a mere multiplex," as each of its 80 to 600 seat cinemas target a different brand of movie buff. Its catering options range from "relaxed and inexpensive" (M Café) to "VIP dining room, with spectacular view" (Chez Jules et Jim), while the Cafébibliothèque features a 25E "Open" menu which includes two à la carte courses, wine, beer or a non-alcoholic drink — along with your film ticket.

The stars of this titanic "super-production"? "French Touch" sound installations, specially compiled by Jean-Yves Leloup and Eric Pajot, to enhance the various venues' specific ambiences. A "Technicolor" soda specially concocted by conceptual artist Martine Aballea... And — top of the bill — the suave red "cinema seats for two," devised by top designer, Martin Szekely — so clever that they could be put on the market as a piece of furniture… for "private consumption."

MK2 Bibliothèque, 128/162 av de France, 13e — Chez Jules et Jim, reservations: 01 56 61 44 02

MK2 seat for two by Martin Szekely
courtesy of MK2