Shops in Paris: Librairie Scaramouche
On a rainy afternoon, I find myself with a little free time before a rendezvous at le Centre Pompidou to see the Salvador Dalí exhibition, which at the time is on display for only a few more weeks. As I aimlessly stroll the streets of the 3rd Arrondissement, a small librairie suddenly catches my eye. Librairie Scaramouche, one of the many little shops in Paris, has been around for more than a decade.
Tucked on the rue Saint-Martin, a short walk from the city’s modern-art museum, it is a mecca for theater lovers and film buffs alike. With the building’s deep red facade, and a head-turning window display composed of theater masks and a large poster of the timeless La Dolce Vita, this treasure trove is relatively difficult for a passerby to resist. Visiting this quaint boutique is losing touch with the city’s hustle and bustle. You can say that it is almost like stepping into a movie itself. Walk through the old crimson door, and all your senses will come alive: the shop is quiet yet inviting, the scent mimics that of an old bookstore and visually the interior is a treat.
Photo: Elena Abbandonato.
Here is where you can spend the afternoon with Fellini, Antonioni, Hitchcock and Godard—and lose track of the hour in doing so. You will find an array of classic film posters from all over the globe, as well as books, photos, masks, marionettes, paraphernalia and authentic Cahiers du Cinéma
There is something intriguing at every corner along the narrow path that greets patrons upon entering. I come across various vintage covers as I browse the pile of books set up in the center, and can’t help but admire the collection of framed posters casually displayed around the shop. Cinephiles can drop by to find exactly what they are looking for. If you aren’t a theater or film connoisseur, not to worry: be a flâneur
and simply visit and admire. You will undoubtedly find something you like. As at many secret shops in Paris, do take your time here, as you will be amazed at what you may come by.
From the quirky commedia dell’arte masks on the wall to the eccentric yet undeniably amiable owner, Hugues Masson, who ensures that each customer who walks through his door is tended to and made to feel at home, this hole-in-the-wall is quite the hidden gem. Whether you live for la Nouvelle Vague or have a fascination with Venetian marionettes, Librairie Scaramouche will no doubt satisfy your penchant for the craft of your choosing.
After a moment spent losing myself in admiring the shop’s magic, it is time to make my way to the museum to catch Dalí with what little remains of my stay in Paris.
161, rue Saint-Martin, in the 3rd Arrondissement.
01 48 87 78 58.
Born and raised in Montreal, North America’s own version of the City of Light, Sofia Mazzamauro is a freelance writer who enjoys traveling, and wining and dining on sunny terraces. She is obsessed with Fellini films, French macarons and Italian gelato.
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