Almanac: Moulin Rouge


The French Cancan, with La Sauterelle, Nini Pattes En L'Air, La Goulue, Mome Fromage and Grille D'Egout at the Moulin Rouge. 

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

(CBS News) And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: October 6th, 1889, 124 years ago today . . . a red-letter day for a landmark cabaret.

For that was the day the fabled Moulin Rouge -- the "Red Mill" -- opened for business in Paris.

Debuting just a few months after that other Paris landmark, the Eiffel Tower, the Moulin Rouge was at the heart of the city's artistic scene during the late 19th century . . . in all its creativity and naughtiness.


The painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a regular, and captured its performers and customers in a series of colorful paintings.

The Moulin-Rouge became famous for its elaborate stage shows, and though it did not invent the Can-Can, its energetic performances sure set the standard.

Through good times and bad, the Moulin Rouge endured, surviving both World Wars, with the legendary singer Edit Piaf performing there for the first time in 1944.

The Moulin Rouge has had its time in the movies as well.

In the 1952 film by that name, Jose Ferrer starred as Toulouse-Lautrec.

And in 2001, Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor starred in an extravagant musical version of the nightclub's story.

Today, the Moulin Rouge retains its place on many a tourist's must-see list, attracting visitors from all over the world.

And it continues to attract some of the world's most lively performers as well.

To borrow a line from an Irving Berlin song, they certainly can Can-Can.

For more info: