Alain Bonnard, the owner of a small art cinema in Paris, is a dyed-in-the-wool nostalgic. In his Cinema Paradis there are no buckets of popcorn, no XXL colas, no Hollywood blockbusters. Alain holds firm to his principles of quality - to show films that bring dreams to life, make people fall in love. And Alain would do anything for his clientele - particularly the mysterious woman in the red coat who, for some time now, has turned up every Wednesday and always sits in row seventeen. What could her story be? Finally one evening Alain plucks up courage to invite the unknown beauty to dinner. But just as the most tender of love stories is getting under way, something happens that turns Alain's life upside down, shoving his little cinema unexpectedly into the public eye. So when the woman in the red coat suddenly vanishes from his life, the cinema owner can't help but wonder if it is more than a coincidence. Taking matters into his own hands, Alain sets off in search of the stranger he has come to love - roll the opening credits for a timeless cinematic romance worthy of the Parisian silver screen!
Nicolas Barreau is both the name of an acclaimed Parisian writer of mixed parentage, who studied at the Sorbonne and worked in a bookshop on the Rive Gauche... and a pseudonym concealing the identity of a mysterious literary figure, unreachable except through his editor.