Amy: the room your parents saw behind the stage is the "Foyer de la Danse", and the only moment when the audience can see it is the Défilé (usually, there's a kind of iron curtain between it and the stage). Moreover, it has a lot of mirrors, so that during the Défilé, the stage looks even deeper than it really is.
I think it can be seen on some paintings by Degas.
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