Film buff or not, you can’t fail to be impressed by the gravitas of Lyon’s film heritage. Cinematic history was made in the grand former villa of Antoine Lumiere, now a museum on the appropriately named rue du Premier-Film in the Lyon neighbourhood of Monplaisir.
Towards the end of the 19th century, Antoine’s sons Auguste and Louis – the Lumière brothers – used the house to shoot movies. The brothers were manufacturers of photographic equipment by trade, and their museum is both a biographical journey and important repository for antique photography artefacts.
The Institut Lumiere also includes a cinema and film archive, and there’s an annual Lumiere Festival of film each October.
City of film
Around town, look out for other nods to the dynamic duo – particularly the renowned Mural of Lyonnais, which coats the side of a bright yellow building on the 1st arrondissement. The painting highlights past and present Lyonnais who made the city what it is. Spot the Lumiere brothers on the first level.
When you’ve had your fill of the cinephile siblings, you can fast forward a few decades to the era of special effects – Lyon is also home to the fascinating Museum of Miniatures and Film Sets. It pays homage to the tricks and techniques used in film making, while also showcasing over 100 miniature film scenes.