Institute Lumière (Cinema Museum) in the street of the First Cinema in Lyon, France

In the street of the first film in the old town of Lyon lies the birthplace of cinema. The highly interesting cinema museum tells the exciting story of moving pictures and delights with antique technology you can touch.

The street of the first film in the old town of Lyon does not have its name by chance. The first film in history was actually shot on Rue du Prèmier Film in 1895. Two brothers from the Lumière family of inventors were responsible for the first moving pictures in the world, as they experimented in the family's chemical factory.


Since 1982, the life and work of the two brothers can be traced in the family home and what was once the world's largest photographic plate factory. The Cinema Museum is one of our top 10 places to visit in Lyon.

Ancient technology to touch

The Cinematograph, the world's first film projector, can be seen today at the Institute Lumière in the old town of Lyon, France - © Victorgrigas CC BY-SA4.0/Wiki
© Victorgrigas CC BY-SA4.0/Wiki

The Lumière Brothers Institute and Museum is nestled in a small park in the 8th arrondissement and can be reached by metro line D via the Sans-Souci station.

In the Art Nouveau villa, which is well worth seeing, the very first film projectors with the famous cinematograph, cameras and other technical equipment are exhibited in 21 rooms on 4 floors alongside historical photos and film posters. Some of the fascinating apparatus can be operated by visitors and convey a feeling of the filming process in the earliest beginnings of film history.

Tip: Most of the exhibits are described in French. More information is available via the audio guide, whose small surcharge of a few euros is definitely recommended!

Ancient films to watch

The certainty of walking in those rooms where the two brothers invented the motion picture after numerous experiments once again adds to the fascination of this museum.

In addition to the exhibits, the cinema museum shows film classics and old - converted to film history actually antique - films with an impressive age of over 100 years every evening, including some productions by the Lumière brothers themselves. However, in an impressive cinema hall with state-of-the-art technology, where every cinema chair is dedicated to a famous filmmaker.

Tip: For a close look at the exhibitions including some (French) films about the history of cinema, you should plan around 2 hours for the visit to the Institute Lumière.

Related links:

Official website of the Institute Lumière


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