The Comédie-Française or Théâtre-Français (often called simply “le Français”) is a French cultural institution founded in 1680 and residing since 1799 in the Richelieu room in the heart of the Palais-Royal (intersection with Rue Saint-Honoré) in the 1st arrondissement of Paris (France) across the Place André Malraux.

A public establishment of an industrial and commercial nature since 1995, it is the only national theater in France with a permanent troupe of actors, the Troupe des Comédiens-Français. Although dead for 7 years when the troupe was created, Molière is considered the “boss” of the institution, nicknamed the “House of Molière”. The chair in which he fell into agony during a performance of The Imaginary Sick is still on display at the back of the gallery of busts, after the Foyer Public1.

The motto of the Comédie-Française is, in Latin, “Simul et singulis” (which can be translated as “be together and remain yourself”).

The Comédie-Française was founded on 8 August 1680 by a decree of Louis XIV merging the only two Parisian acting troupes of the time, the troupe of the Guénégaud Theatre and that of the Hôtel de Bourgogne.

On the death of Molière in 1673, the troupe at the Guénégaud had been formed by a merger of the Théâtre du Marais and the Troupe de Molière. Two years later they received a royal grant of 12,000 livres per year; and seven years later they received their present designation. Thus the Comédie-Française may be said to have an unbroken tradition reaching back to the days of Molière.

The Salle Richelieu is the principal theatre of the Comédie-Française. It is located in the Palais-Royal in the first arrondissement of Paris and was originally constructed in 1786–1790 to the designs of the architect Victor Louis.

The interior of the auditorium was redesigned in 1798 by Jean-Charles-Alexandre Moreau and in 1822 by Pierre Fontaine, who reduced the diameter of the balcony columns, which had previously obstructed the view for many spectators. The ceiling was repainted by Pierre-Luc-Charles Ciceri in 1840. Additional interior restoration work was carried out by Théodore Charpentier in 1847 and 1850. The capacity in 1857 was 1,350 spectators. In 1858 the ceiling was repainted by Joseph Nolau and Auguste Rubé based on the designs of Félix-Joseph Barrias.


  • Address: Place Colette, Paris 75001
  • Tickets T + 33 (0) 44 58 15 15 Monday to Saturday 11.00 am to 6.00 pm
  • Administration T +33(0)1 44 58 14 00 – F +33 (0)1 44 58 15 50
  • Boutique-Bookshop T +33(0)1 44 58 14 30 – F +33 (0)1 44 58 15 50
  • Tuesday to Saturday 11.00 am to 8.30 pm, Sundays and holidays 1.00 pm to 8.30 pm
  • Bar Opens 1 hour before curtain and during the intermission
  • Access Bus 21, 27, 39,48, 67, 68, 69, 81, 95
  • Metro Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre, Pyramides
  • Parking Carrousel du Louvre, Pyramides, Petits Champs

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20 arrondissements of Paris

Architecture of Paris

Museums of Paris

Entertainment in Paris

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