It was planned as a new headquarters for the American Center of Paris, which was founded in 1931 and had long drawn crowds to its rambling Left Bank home as a place to discover American culture and to learn English. But the dream of a dazzling image went sour. Now, thanks to the French government, the building, [a Frank Gehry design] has begun a new life, this time as the headquarters of the Cinematheque Francaise, the legendary film center that was the cradle of the New Wave movies of the 1950s and 60s. Alan Riding reports.