Our Story

The story of Cirque de Bohème starts at the end of the first world war in 1918.

Two childhood friends, born in the south of France, came back after spending four terrible years in the trenches. Miraculously, both friends survived this unimaginable bloodbath where millions of young men from all over the world lost their lives.

Still alive. But not same men.

One of them is Gabriel Michelis and the other one is Armand Pascal.

After the two men crossed with the army  East and North East of France, they arrived in Paris, where they are demobilized, and returned to civilian life.

On the platform of the Austerlitz train station, where a train waited for them to bring them back to their home county, Gabriel and Armand will together, make a decision that will change the rest of their lives.

Instead of taking this train with their  friends, Gabriel and Armand decide to stay in Paris to write the starting pages of a new life.

After several years working hard in various restaurants and cabarets in Paris, (as a musician for Gabriel, as an actor for Armand) the two friends between them save enough money to have the opportunity to buy a little Circus in Montmartre.  This circus was called Cirque de Bohème... the oldest Circus building in Paris.

After months of work, the two friends transformed this dusty and dirty place into a light, happy, magical and full of life attraction !

In 1924, thanks to all the years they passed in this big city working and meeting so many different people, they created their first show for the new circus, "A Bohemian Dream",  where many different artist came from all over the world to work, night after bohemian night.

For many years, Cirque de Bohème shows enchanted thousands and thousands of  tourist and parisian people who would make this place a unique place in the heart of Montmartre.

This Circus was during the crazy years betweens the two world wars, the dark years of the Nazi occupation, where it became a safe place for the Parisian resistance. But it also continued during a time  of the liberation, with all the American GI's coming to see the show, knowing the following years of the baby boom, years of insouciance, years of the  60's big utopia.

Toward the end of the 60's  there was a change for the two Cirque de Bohème creators. Armand Pascal passed in May 1968, and Gabriel Michelis passed in January 1969.  Their Circus did not survive after them.  After all these years full of joy, laughter and celebrations, a dark curtain fell on the Cirque de Bohème stage.

A terrible shadow.  One of absence and silence which soon leads to the demolition engine that broke the wall of the Circus.  For what?   To make space for public parking.  The real estate company will finally forever extinguish the joyful, bohemian light of the show on this small Rue des Roses atop of the hill of Montmartre.

Time passed. Cirque de Bohème disappeared from memory. But like so often, the persistence of history should will be victorious.  The memory of this magical, dreamlike place once buried deep in the vault of time forgotten, has reappeared suddenly in a place where no one expected.

More than a century has passed since the Cirque de Bohème opened in Montmartre.  Today, Michel Michelis, the grandson of Armand Pascal (his maternal grandfather) and Gabriel Michelis (his paternal grandfather), is reviving those memories. Between California and France, Cirque de Bohème enjoys a second life.  Two generations later, Michel recreates the Cirque of his ancestors... under his own big top!

Michel-Armand  Michelis invites you today for a unique trip inside and beyond the time.  

Please, Ladies and Gentlemen, come with him and be welcomed on Cirque de Bohème Tent !