Rendez-vous at the Lumière Institute in Lyon
The Lumière family has revolutionised the world of photography and invented cinematography. In Lyon, the Lumière Institute pays homage to them in the very birthplace of film.
At the end of the 19th Century, Antoine Lumière, manufacturer, and his two sons Auguste and Louis, had a belief: there is a future market in moving pictures... provided that this movement is projected on a big screen.
In 1895, the Lumière brothers found a way. They created cinematography – and essentially the cinema – perfecting the leading invention by Thomas Edison. *
In this way, the epic saga that is the history of film really hit the ground running. These are the beginnings of a great cinematic adventure that will be told from the moment you step through the doors of the Lumière Villa, the museum of the Institute.
A scientific and historical journey
In this magnificent bourgeois building (listed a Historical Monument) where the Lumière family resided, learn about the scientific findings and historical discoveries that took place in the worlds of cinematography and photography.
- The Cinematograph which projected its first 10 films in public on the 28th December 1895, at the Grand Café in Paris before an astounded crowd;
- Annotated Lumière film projections;
- The first colour cameras and colour photos;
- The Photorama, admire 360° of projected photos, almost 20ft in height taking you to the Marseille port, in the early 20th Century.
Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory, the first film in the history of cinema
Straight after exiting the museum, you will enter the gardens of the villa. A peaceful haven that once buzzed with working activity from the Lumière factories, destroyed at the end of the 70s. None of these buildings remain, except the Hangar (see photo), the only remnants of the early history of cinema, completely renovated.
The Hangar is no other than the original setting for the first film in the history of cinema: Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory (French: La Sortie de l’Usine Lumière à Lyon). A movie filmed in 1895 by Louis Lumière with the cinematograph.
Hollywood... Lyon style
A little further along rue du Premier-Film is the Mur des Cinéastes (The Filmmakers Wall), covered with a multitude of commemorative plaques. Each one states the name of a famous personality of the film industry, and the date they visited the Institute to celebrate the Lumière brothers.
Don’t miss the Lumière Festival, an event dedicated to classic cinema held every year in October.
Since 2009, this festival brings personalities such as Clint Eastwood, Milos Forman, Gérard Depardieu, Ken Loach, Quentin Tarantino and Pedro Almodóvar.
*Edison invented the Kinetoscope, a device which enables an individual to watch a 35cm film tape. If Edison invented film, then the Lumière brothers invented cinema to be viewed by many spectators thanks to the idea of projecting the film onto the big screen.
From Paris / Geneva: Take the South ring road, take the Grange Blanche exit and follow the road towards Lyon centre
From Marseille: take Lyon Centre and bear left. On avenue Berthelot, head towards Monplaisir, avenue des frères Lumière.
The Lumière Institute is just 10 minutes from Part-Dieu station, and 15 minutes from Perrache station.
25, rue du Premier-Film