The Bataclan theater will re-open, even if it takes years

The Bataclan theater, the site of the most deadly of the horrific attacks in Paris last Friday, has committed to hosting events again in the future.

“It will reopen, no question about it,” Dominique Revert, the club’s co-manager, told Billboard. “Hearts will be heavy for a few months, a few years. But we will reopen. We will not surrender.”

While the venue will now always be associated with the tragic deaths of the 89 people killed at the concert, the owners are determined not to let one moment in history redefine the venue’s entire future. Revert drew on a Latin phrase that’s on Paris’s coat of arms in his statement: Fluctuat nec mergitur, meaning “tossed but never sunk.”

The venue was built in 1864, and has hosted famous performers through the centuries. From Buffalo Bill back in 1892 to recent performances by Prince, Kanye West, Paramore, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding, the 1,500-person-capacity venue has brought joy into the lives of many fans.

“The Bataclan has always been for me a place of music, sharing and joy,” David Guetta — who used to be a resident DJ at the Bataclan — posted on Facebook. “I never would have imagined that it would become the place of such a tragedy.”

One fan at the concert named Isobel Bowdery shared her experience, posting her first-hand account of being at the concert and witnessing the attack on Facebook. While the story quickly turns tragic, what she focuses on first is the infectious happiness in the crowd and the joy that the fans had shared.

“It was just a Friday night at a rock show,” Bowdery begins in her post. “The atmosphere was so happy and everyone was dancing and smiling.” That is the atmosphere that the Bataclan has committed to bring back, to spread smiles instead of tears. (Her full post is worth a read, but be warned that it will cause tears as she describes the shock and terror of the attack.)

The band that was playing on Friday night, the Eagles of Death Metal, also released a statement on Wednesday.

“Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, and all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love and compassion,” the statement read.

This commitment to recovery is reassuring that terror and fear will not suppress the things that bring joy to the world. Slowly — very slowly — this historic venue will once again bring people together and spread happiness. And if nothing else right now is, that is worth celebrating.

(Image via Wikimedia)