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Light Institute

Last updated: 18 March, 2024

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.

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