The History

Located in the village of Ibos in the Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées agglomeration, the Parvis is one of 74 Scène National that irrigate the French territory. It is in fact one of these decentralised cultural establishments, in the same way as the choreographic centres, the national drama centres and the national orchestras. The first network of production and broadcasting of live performance in France, the Scène National are the heirs of the houses of Culture, the centres of cultural activities and the centres of cultural development.

  • Supported by the State and the GIE-Méridien d'Ibos, the Parvis Scène National fulfills the public service missions conferred by its statutes and the label awarded to it by the Ministry of Culture.

    It must :
    - assert itself as a place of artistic production of national reference in the fields of contemporary culture.
    - organize the diffusion and the confrontation of all the artistic forms by supporting the creation.
    - participate in cultural development actions that promote accessibility to culture, new behaviors and better social integration in terms of artistic creation, in its territory of establishment, and more broadly in the department and the region.

The story

It was at the beginning of the 1970s that a cultural association, made up of a small team of volunteers led by Marc Bélit, future director of the Parvis, undertook to lay the foundations for an experimental project entitled “distribution and culture”; a project which was based on the idea that one could give birth to a cultural experience from an economic and urban phenomenon: the emergence of « large popular supermarkets ». The purpose of this association was to promote culture, both through theatre and other possible activities. The Parvis would begin its adventure in the heart of a shopping centre.

Forty years later, the gamble paid off: Marc Bélit succeeded in the challenge of creating a cultural establishment in the heart of a shopping centre and raising it to the rank of a cultural institution. The Parvis, in four decades, has grown a lot: from the small association that it was in its beginnings, it has become the Scène National that we know today, with its diversified activities as within its walls in addition to a stage dedicated to live performance it also boasts a contemporary arts centre and an Art & Essay cinema...

> To find out more about the history of the Parvis, consult the book by Marc Bélit: Le Parvis, Une Scène Nationale Atypique
> Discover Marc Bélit's blog

  • Today

    Since its creation, the Scène National has offered programming that meets its primary missions: a level of national ambition and openness to all disciplinary fields. The artistic project of the Parvis is above all a generalist project which must offer a good representation of current creation in the fields of live performance, contemporary art and cinema. Contrary to the often very specialised theatres of the big cities, the Parvis is aimed at a local but very diverse public. A confident and numerous audience, with a real culture of entertainment and cinema, that has partly been built, through regular and assiduous attendance to the many and various works that the Hautes-Pyrénées territory has been able to accommodate over the last forty years. Le Parvis is proud to have been a contributor. 

    The Parvis is also distinguished by its strong involvement in the youth and arts education sector.

    The Scène National of the Parvis has been directed by Frédéric Esquerré since September 2020.