The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, September 15, 2019

World's oldest cinema, where the first films of the pioneering Lumiere brothers were screened, reopens
Cannes film festival director Thierry Fremaux delivers a speech during the official re-opening of the world's oldest cinema theater "L'Eden" on October 9, 2013 in La Ciotat, southern France. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT.

By: Anne Beade

LA CIOTAT (AFP).- The world's oldest movie theatre, where the first films of the pioneering Lumiere brothers were screened in 1899, reopened in a sleepy southern French town after an extensive facelift.

Gleaming, velvet seats replace dusty chairs, fresh yellow paint and mosaic tiles adorn the facade while oak floors take the place of old carpets. The Eden Theatre, which closed in 1995, had an inauguratory gala event in La Ciotat, a town near the sprawling port city of Marseille.

It was at the seafront theatre that the Lumiere brothers, Auguste and Louis, screened their first moving pictures to 250 dazzled spectators on March 21, 1899.

The brothers had previously showcased their work in other places, first at their rich, industrialist father's home and then at other cinemas, but these have since disappeared.

Over the decades, the Eden became both a cinema and theatre, and several French film stars such as Yves Montand and Fernandel performed there in the early days of their careers.

But it hit hard times in the 1980s when the then owner was killed by crooks trying to steal his money, and movie buffs just stopped going.

After that, the building opened only for one week every year to host a festival showcasing the first ever French-language movies, until its closure in 1995.

Supporters of the old, historic monument never gave up their fight to get it reopened, but it was not until Marseille was named European Capital of Culture for 2013 that local authorities finally agreed to renovations that cost six million euros ($8.1 million).

The Eden operates as a normal cinema run by a private operator, and visitors are able to wander through a permanent exhibition outlining the origins of animated pictures.

Outside, the facade has been adorned with a laser installation at night depicting a train, to mark the 50-second-long film "Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat" filmed by the Lumiere brothers in 1895.

The black and white, silent movie shows a steam train pulling into a station, and passengers getting in and out.

The story goes that when it was first screened, spectators were so terrified at the image of a train moving towards them that they leapt out of their chairs and ran out in panic, though many people have suggested this is an urban legend.

French media reports had said actresses Juliette Binoche and Nathalie Baye and film director Roman Polanski were among the stars expected to attend Wednesday's inaugural ceremony.

But organisers said Binoche would not be present.

The challenge for the Eden will be to make the 166-seat theatre economically viable, and fans of the building say it should be a larger cultural project that offers educational tours for school children, screens restored films and hosts film festivals.

© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

October 14, 2013

Exhibition in Marseille emphasizes the different facets of artist-architect Le Corbusier

Landmark exhibition "John Singer Sargent: Watercolors" opens at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

New Morgan Library explores art in 18th-century Venice with more than 100 drawings

Largest exhibition of Mike Kelley's work to-date occupies all of MoMA PS1 in Long Island City

World's oldest cinema, where the first films of the pioneering Lumiere brothers were screened, reopens

Milwaukee Art Museum premieres exhibition of theatrical paintings by Thomas Sully

After falling victim to the shutdown two weeks ago, Statue of Liberty reopening delights tourists

Historic dulcimer collection featured in free musical exhibits at the Tennessee State Museum

Turner and Constable: Works from the Tate Collection on view at Turner Contemporary

Architects Museum De Lakenhal announced: International top combined with young talent

"Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories" opens at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents works by Brooklyn-based artist KAWS

"Jason Rhoades, Four Roads" among the most ambitious exhibitions Philadelphia's ICA has ever presented

Art Gallery of New South Wales announces new Whiteley exhibition focusing on landscape

First exhibition in Germany of Conceptual artist Louise Lawler opens at Museum Ludwig

Exhibition of Brazilian contemporary art opens at Astrup Fearnley Museet

Camille Henrot presents first solo U.S. exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Island, a new exhibition based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, opens at The Dairy Art Center

Sketchbook of unseen Fergusson drawings of 1st World War Portsmouth comes to light

Ana Maria Tavares's art explores the contradictions of modern architectural and design spaces

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful