The Edificio París is a familiar but little-known landmark in the City Center. The building went up in 1906-1907 as the headquarters of the Compañía Bancaria de Fomento y Bienes Raíces de México, also called Societé Financière du Mexique. The bank kept its business on the upper floors and those on the street level were rented to smaller businesses. These have been continually rented ever since.
The most famous tenant, though, opened in 1909. The Cinematógrafo Cine-Club was one of Mexico City’s earliest commercially successful movie theaters. Audiences were seated on bleachers and silent films were screened along with explanatory texts. The Orquesta Típica, founded in 1901 by the composer Miguel Lerdo de Tejada (1869–1941), is said to have been the first to offer musical accompaniment to the screenings. The cinema was big enough for some 800 viewers who could enjoy coffee and similar refreshments.
The Cine-Club is long gone and replaced long since by bigger and flashier cinemas. The building though remains as an eclectic mix of the French and Arte Deco styles. It stands in some contrast to the heavier Italian Renaissance style so prominent just a few blocks to the west. Today, on the corner of 5 de Mayo and pedestrian-only Motolinía, it’s been an important focal point for the neighborhood for more than 100 years.
Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México – Coordinación Nacional de Monumentos Históricos. Ficha del Catálogo Nacional de Monumentos Históricos Inmuebles número I-09-00667 . -. Disponible en: http://catalogonacionalmhi.inah.gob.mx/consulta_publica/detalle/11450 jorgalbrto, octubre 1, 2011, Vida de Peatón: El Edificio París y la permanencia voluntaria https://jorgalbrtotranseunte.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/el-edificio-paris-y-la-permanencia-voluntaria/