Nestled in the backstreets of Bastille, an improbable place awaits behind a facade of shuttered windows. A family-owned business since the 1930s, it is the largest prop house for cinema and theatre in Paris with thousands and thousands of objects to make believe with, from the banal to the never-before-seen.
the big boss’ office, also overflowing with props, he tells us that if the family didn’t actually own all this space, they would have been kicked out a long time ago. “Business wouldn’t cover the rent.” These days, a property of this size in Paris for rent doesn’t likely even exist. When I ask him where he sees his prop house in 50 years, he sighs, fastening a button on his waistcoat. “Government housing.” My stomach turns a little. The thought of a place like this being torn down. His sons do work for the family business, which is reassuring, but somewhere down the line, someone may choose a different path.