THE BLOG
10/06/2014 04:46 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Happy 125th, Moulin Rouge: Vintage Color Photos From the Cancan Mecca

In the world of show business, few addresses carry the cachet of 82 Boulevard de Clichy in Paris' Quartier Pigalle. It is there, after all, that the Moulin Rouge--the model for a certain type of frolicsome, sophisticated nightlife the world over--has held sway for 125 years. It is there that countless men and women down through the decades have enjoyed extravagant (and cheerfully risqué) song-and-dance numbers. It is there that the energetic and, for many, scandalous cancan dance found its highest and most popular form of expression.

On the 125th anniversary of the Oct. 6, 1889, opening of the Moulin Rouge, LIFE.com is sharing a series of remarkable, intimate color pictures made by Loomis Dean in the late 1950s--none of them published in LIFE magazine--featuring the cabaret's rightfully celebrated dancers.

[See more rare, vintage color photos of Moulin Rouge dancers at LIFE.com]

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Moulin Rouge, late 1950s.

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Moulin Rouge, late 1950s.