On August 23, 2004, they discovered a cinema sixty feet beneath Paris.
The sun was shining on the Trocadéro, the Eiffel Tower gleamed across the Seine, and deep below ground, police came across a sign. The officers were on a training mission, exploring the 4.3 miles of catacombs that twist beneath the 16th arrondissement. The former quarries are centuries-old, illegal to enter, and the sign at the mouth of the tunnel read, “No public entry.” Police are not the public; they entered. Their headlamps flashed against the limestone walls and then suddenly the officers were surrounded. Invisible dogs snarled and barked from all sides. The men’s hearts hammered. They froze in their tracks. They cooed canine comforts into the dark.