Apr 10th, 2018, 04:03 PM

Palais Malliot Nightclub: High Burlesque and Bouncers

By Imaniushindi Fanga
Outside Palias Malliot-Monsieur Cirque
A vivid, yet short portrait of one of Paris's most exclusive clubs.

Getting into Palais Malliot is no easy task, particularly because of this touristic time of year. Located just a 15 minute walk away from the most perpetually snobbish area of Paris, the Champs-Élysées, you can't expect anything less. In fact, I remember my first time arriving; I did not get in because I neglected to make a reservation guaranteeing a table and a bottle at 120 euros. I was naive to the false advertising of the free entry before 1 a.m. that was noted on their Facebook page. The walk of shame is not foreign to many of us, but I still wondered what was behind these supposedly exclusive doors.

Most nightclubs get a bad reputation for their abundance of shallow, yet hyper-glamourized people (who secretly hate themselves and knows that everybody hates them too), cheesy-generic top billboard songs, and the piercing stench of Grey Goose Vodka hanging off the many guys in the crowd. The renowned cultural critic and journalist, Charlie Brooker, even said in one of his articles:

"Clubs are such insufferable dungeons of misery, the inmates have to take mood-altering substances to make their ordeal seem halfway tolerable. This leads them to believe they "enjoy" clubbing. They don't. No one does. They just enjoy drugs."

However, with all that said, Palais Malliot is perfect if you want to experience a night of complete escapism and surrealist entertainment. Last weekend, I attended the Monsieur Cirque Paris night where a show of burlesque dancers, jugglers, trapeze artists and clowns entertain across all three rooms: The Imperial Room, The Space Lodge, and The Royal Space, which is named after King Louis Phillippe (1830-1848). They host many thematic trap and R&B nights mixed and spun by the renowned DJs Drozzy and Wobson. The interior of the space lives up to the high standard of its shows; Palais Maillot welcomes more than 800 guests and 200 for sit-down meals with its exceptional space of 600 m². The grandiose ceiling is five meters high and is accented by crystal chandeliers. These chandeliers carry a royal, and classical feel that augments the image of the high burlesque.

Palais Malliot presents the creative selection of genres which is a great way to escape the conventional Parisian bar or nightclub that plays more electronic/EDM-esque music. Palais Malliot is certainly a great break from all the house-madness that sturs Friday nights and a great introduction to some of the most deliciously powerful remixes from today's best RnB and Trap tracks- my personal favorite, a Migos remix of Stir Fry.

Image Credit: Imani Fanga

While I was there I grabbed a quick interview outside with a fellow clubber, Hugo Zouari. We discussed why he frequently visits the club and he explained it was for the music, "I love Afro and Latin house music," he says. Zouari revealed that there are many celebrities that come in and out of the club such as Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Drake. With all the big names that come to Palais, I then asked him what is the best way for the average person to get in without a reservation. "It's not a question of hardship, it's a question of having the right contacts and getting lucky. If you don't have the contacts, you simply might not get it." Then we talked a bit more about our shared love for Latin-trap music and he showed me some equally talented French artists like Aya Nakamura and her song "Comportement." 

Image Credit: Imani Fanga

So after all, Zouari may not have been lying about all the types of celebrities that show up to the Palais. Even in the blur of people inside, I managed to follow and then get a snap with the well known French actor Kev Adams outside. He is better known by the French as Adam Fontella from the popular short comedy series "Soda," or his other kiddish roles in comedies like "The New Adventures of Aladdin," which when I mentioned he giggled and later excused himself for being in such a silly movie. So if it interests you to grab a picture with one of today's most buzz-worthy entertainers, no matter how shallow and vapid that sounds, your best bet is Palais Malliot.

In a nutshell, Palais Maillot is filled with interesting characters who pool outside every weekend and put on their Sunday best before the bouncers. For the average clubber this is not shocking information, but by 3 a.m., there were still short crowds of people waiting outside waiting to get in. At one moment, I overheard someone point and shout, "Ils sont des connards!" at the two big and mean-mugged bouncers, and frankly, I sympathized with them. If you spent a few hours rechecking your freshly shaven line-up, suede tracksuit, and gray Yeezus sneakers, I too would be mad to see floods of almost less than regular looking elites, dressed down, and even pissed drunk walk right in as if it was nothing. Ringing up the all too normal insecurity of "why them and not me?" which bleeds in deep, deep enough that most will still stand outside for hour more to have that question answered. Still, whatever brings you to Palais Maillot, whether it be the music, drinks, thematic nights, or celebrity sightings you might want to keep in mind that not everything that glitters is gold.