Musee de la Cinematheque museum in Paris
Located in a modern building at the Parc de Bercy, within the Cinematheque, this museum in Paris is the ultimate and world famous cinema museum that has seen millions of visitors since it first opened in the 1990s.
About the Musee de la Cinematheque Museum
The Musee de la Cinematheque is the Museum of Cinema located within the Bercy area of Paris by the Parc de Bercy and is housed within the ultra modern building that was originally called the American Cultural Centre, which was designed by the architect Frank O Gehry, yet is now called La Cinematheque Francaise.
The museum of cinema was originally housed at the Palais de Chaillot, which is located by the Trocadero Gardens with fabulous views to the Eiffel Tower, and only moved to its current location in 2005, where it has been able to expand further.
There are now three different exhibition spaces and the same mission is continuing with being able to accumulate, restore and display the rich history of cinema, and linked with the Cinematheque Francaise, there is a dedicated area for researchers, students and those that just want to learn more about film and how this technology has progressed from the beginning.
Here you will be able to discover more about the birth of cinema within the USA, England and France, learn about Eadweard Muybridge and the galloping horse, the kinetoscope of Thomas Edison, the birth of 35mm film, discover more about the films with sound and then colour in the cinema etc.
In fact, there are many old instruments like a venetian peep box and optical toys on display, along with costumes from the stars of cinema, magic lanterns, Lumiere cinematography, a 35mm Edison film plus much, much more.
You will be able to find out answers to many questions you may have had, such as how cinema really started or what the first movies were really like, and also discover posters along with many artefacts such as the robot from Metropolis.
The Musee de la Cinematheque has an enchanting atmosphere with a unique interior by the architect and designer Massimo Quendolo, who has worked with other institutions in Paris such as the Cite de la Musique located at the Parc de la Villette and the most famous museum in the world, The Louvre.
And within his design Massimo Quendolo utilised materials such as wood for porticos, metal and glass for prisms and black glass shelves to enhance the exhibits like those of some of the first optical systems.
And within his design, Massimo Quendolo utilised materials such as wood for porticos, metal and glass for prisms, and black glass shelves to enhance the exhibits like those of some of the first optical systems.
But with this magic of the permanent exhibitions, there are also temporary exhibitions, as well, such as one for Tim Burton held in 2012 that attracted many thousands of visitors and long queues, one for Tod Browning in 2018, plus another entitled the Mystery of Clouzot, so do be prepared.
Access to Musee de la Cinematheque
You will be pleased to know that there are audio guides available at reception completely free of charge in French, English, Spanish, German and Italian, but if you have the time, you can always download the mp3 files to your phone prior to your visiting the museum.
For those of you that are deaf, yet know French sign language, there are LSF guided museum visits, however, we would like to point out that these are not available to those that have no problems hearing or in any other sign language.
The cost of admission to the permanent collections of the Musee de la Cinematheque is €5 as of 2018, but half price for children under the age of 12, yet it is free entry to this museum in Paris for those that are aged under six, however there is an additional cost for temporary exhibitions.
The Musee de la Cinematheque Museum is open on a Monday and Wednesday through to a Sunday from midday to 7pm, however, it is always closed on a Tuesday and on French National holidays such as 1st May.
But there are also the odd occasions where on a certain day there may be a one off closure, so it is worth checking prior to turning up and being disappointed.
Now when it comes to getting to Bercy, the Parc de Bercy with its attractions such as the Musee des Arts Forains and the Maison de Jardinage and of course the Cinematheque Francaise, this is very straight forward via public transport.
To start with, the nearest Metro station is called the Bercy stop on lines 6 and 14, and is only a short walk to the Museum of Cinema, or a little further and you have the Cour Saint-Emilion stop on line 14.
There are also the Bus lines 24, 64, 87, 109 and 111 along with the Noctilien Night Bus Service via lines N32, N35 and N130 that will get you within walking distance of the Musee de la Cinematheque and the Parc de Bercy.
However, if you are feeling a little more energetic, then you can always take a walk along the River Seine, admiring the barges and bridges along the way, and from the Gare du Nord train station in Paris, it is an approximate 20 to 40 minute walk.
Yet if you are arriving in Paris via train, then the RER train station called the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand stop, which is on the opposite bank of the River Seine that serves the RER C line and the Gare de Paris Bercy serves the Intercities and TER trains.