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Salis met Goudeau, whom he convinced to relocate the club meeting place across the river to 84 Boulevard Rochechouart.
The cabaret began by serving bad wine and had a rather inferior decor, but from the first, at the door, guests were greeted by a Swiss guard, splendidly bedecked and covered with gold from head to foot.
It opened on 18 November 1881 at 84 Boulevard de Rochechouart by the impresario Rodolphe Salis, and closed in 1897 not long after Salis' death (much to the disappointment of Picasso and others who looked for it when they came to Paris for the Exposition in 1900).
Le Chat Noir is thought to be the first modern cabaret: a nightclub where the patrons sat at tables and drank alcoholic beverages while being entertained by a variety show on stage.
So, Le Chat Noir will revive this type of shows in France constructing scenes and characters based on figures and projected cuts as shadow puppets.
The birth of shadow play, there was a rather peculiar way: at the end of 1885 the painter Henry Sommer and the illustrator George Auriol built a puppet theater in Le Chat Noir, designed to make shows for adults.
The cabaret began by renting the cheapest accommodations it could find, a small two-room site located at 84 Boulevard Rochechouart, (now commemorated only by a historical plaque).Its success was assured with the wholesale arrival of a group of radical young writers and artists called Les Hydropathes ("those who are afraid of water — so they drink only wine"), a club led by the journalist Émile Goudeau.The group claimed to be averse to water, preferring wine and beer.It was the old private mansion of the painter Alfred Stevens, who, at the request of Salis, had transformed it into a "fashionable country inn" with the help of the architect Maurice Isabey.On 10 June 1885, with great fanfare, Salis moved to new premises at 12 Rue Victor-Masse.
Very quickly, poets and singers who performed at Le Chat Noir found the best practice for their craft to be had in Paris.