The End of an Era: Iconic Parisian Drag Club Chez Michou Shuts Down

The beloved French drag cabaret Chez Michou has bid adieu to its loyal patrons after announcing its closure due to financial difficulties. The closure marks the end of an era for the iconic Parisian fixture that paved the way for drag entertainment in France back in the 1950s. Chez Michou’s final performance on Sunday was met with sadness and nostalgia, as fans reminisced about the golden days when the cabaret attracted visitors from across the globe, including notable figures like French President Jacques Chirac and Hollywood legend Liza Minnelli.

Founded by the flamboyant cabaret artist Michel Catty, also known as Michou, Chez Michou was a tiny venue in the picturesque Montmartre district of Paris that was adorned with gilt-framed mirrors and filled with lively performances by the iconic Michettes, who served champagne and entertained patrons. The club’s unique charm and vibrant atmosphere inspired the 1983 Oscar-nominated French film “La Cage aux Folles” and its American adaptation “The Birdcage,” starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane.

Despite the club’s rich history and cultural significance, Chez Michou struggled to stay afloat in recent years, with a lack of bookings, ongoing protests, strikes, parking issues, and the lingering impact of the Covid-19 pandemic contributing to its financial woes. Catherine Catty-Jacquart, Michou’s niece and the club’s current manager, expressed her disappointment at the closure, noting that they had been barely surviving day by day.

As news of Chez Michou’s closure spread, fans and celebrities alike mourned the loss of this legendary establishment, with the Élysée Palace even issuing a statement to honor Michou’s legacy. While the future of Chez Michou remains uncertain, there is hope that a buyer will step in to revive this iconic drag cabaret and keep its spirit alive for generations to come. The closure of Chez Michou serves as a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of cultural landmarks and the importance of preserving the legacy of such iconic institutions in our society.