INTRODUCTION The last of the old time luxury hotels on the Champs-Elysees in Paris closed its doors for the last time on Friday (31 December).
GV AND CU:Claridges
GV: kitchen staff holding criss outside front door.
GV: sliding gates being closed (3 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION The last of the old time luxury hotels on the Champs-Elysees in Paris closed its doors for the last time on Friday (31 December). It will be reopened as a shopping centre.
SYNOPSIS: The Claridge was founded at the outbreak of war in 1914. After featuring in the glamorous 1920's and frequently being a victim of military takeovers, the Claridge has finally fallen a victim to sharp rent increases. The 215 room hotel, next to the Lido theatre, has closed because the management can not meet the fourfold increase in rent demanded by the landlords. The hotel is owned by France's largest insurance company.
A doorman at the hotel who's been there for 40 years described the closing as a funeral from the employees point of view. He said the employees were a close family and the closure brought the end of an era. During the 1920's the afternoon tea dance at the hotel was one of the French capital's liveliest attractions, drawing the sophisticated elite. It has survived long after many similar hotels in the area have made way for offices and shops.
The Claridge had been head-quarters for the French War Ministry the German Army and General de Gaulle during its illustrious history.