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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 28 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Anna Brooke

Cinema was invented in Lyon, thanks to genius Louis Lumière, son of a photographer in town. On the back of the family’s many inventions, they built a sumptuous villa next to their main Lyonnais photography factory.

This home has been turned into a grand museum on the history of film. The Lumieres’ first very short-but-sweet films are on view, as well as evocative 19th-century photography.

Major cinema events are staged here. For special screenings according to film genre, or for youngsters, look up what’s showing on the Institute website.

There’s also a whole programme of cine-concerts, with live music accompanying old films, making for a wonderfully rich experience.

Price from: £5
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The Institute lies just east of central Lyon. Either take a taxi or get there via Metro line D to Monplaisir-Lumiere – it’s a 5-minute walk from the station.

Audio guides are available in multiple languages for a small additional fee. Guided tours are also available for individual visitors – see the website calendar for schedules.

There’s also a short introduction to the Lumiere brothers and what they achieved on the website. Worth a read before you go.

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Monday.

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Lyon

Auberge-Rhone-Alpes, France

Man on horse statue in foreground, basilica behind

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