he Eden Theatre, the oldest cinema in the world... La Ciotat, capital of French cinema

La Ciotat is indeed the capital of French cinema.

- L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat" was the first film shot by Louis Lumière in 1895.

- Michel Simon's villa is about to be restored.

- The Eden cinema is the oldest in the world

After months of renovation, the world's oldest cinema reopened its doors in October 2013.
L'Eden Théatre is a cinema located in La Ciotat, inaugurated on June 16, 1889. Listed as a Monument Historique in 1996, it is an integral part of the world's cinema heritage, and underwent restoration work from March 2007 to October 2013 under the aegis of a support committee chaired by Bertrand Tavernier.
Since February 12, 1996, L'Eden has been listed as a historic monument.
This mythical site has belonged to the town of La Ciotat since 1992. Originally, L'Eden was an auditorium that hosted variety shows, theater and concerts, as well as boxing and Greco-Roman wrestling galas.
In 1895, the Lumière brothers organized the first private cinema screening.
An itinerant craftsman set up shop with his own projector and showed films, alternating with other entertainment programs.
L'Eden's stage was home to a number of young artists who would make their debut there, including Bernard Blier, Fernandel and Yves Montand.

 

Arrival of a train at La Ciotat station

La Ciotat is the city of cinema for two reasons: its cinema, L'Eden, and the famous film "L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat" (The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station), the first French film, directed by Louis Lumière in 1895 and premiered in January 1896.

The film, which lasts around 50 seconds, shows a train arriving at La Ciotat station, a town where the Lumière family owned a residence, which explains why they chose this station rather than another.

Closed for lack of security, the Eden was restored to its former role as an "Art et Essai" cinema after major renovations.

 

Michel Simon's villa to become a place of remembrance

Michel Simon bought this bastide, enlarged it to accommodate a cinema and a janitor's apartment, and came to spend more and more time here from 1946 to 1975, also bringing Henri Langlois.

The house was bought by the town of La Ciotat in 1996, and the Friends of Michel Simon association became its guardians. It was

2013 saw the rebirth of l'Eden, restored to its original 1889 condition, at the initiative of Mayor Patrick Boré.

In July 2021, Eden enters the Guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest active cinema.

 

Eden Théâtre
Boulevard Georges Clémenceau,

13600 La Ciotat

http://edencinemalaciotat.com/

 


To go further....

Le secret de l'Eden

À la Jeune Chambre économique, une poignée de trentenaires cherchent une idée qui puisse raviver la vie culturelle locale : le projet de créer un festival de cinéma dans la ville rendue célèbre par les frères Lumière finit par s´imposer et ils reçoivent le soutien de George Giordana, gérant de l´Eden, le cinéma de La Ciotat.Jean-Louis Tixier, Albert Audry, Willy Debras et leurs amis ne savent pas qu´ils viennent d´enclencher une aventure humaine et artistique qui va placer La Ciotat, leur ville bien-aimée, dans la grande Histoire du cinéma. Car cette salle de cinéma a un secret alors ignoré de tous : elle est la plus ancienne du monde.Mais leur route est semée d´embûches...Heureusement, une série de hasards providentiels les aideront... et aujourd´hui, l´Eden, sauvé de sa disparition par cette bande d´idéalistes passionnés, vient de recevoir le ¿Prix spécial du jury¿ par le CNC comme la salle la plus innovante de France !Preuve si besoin, que des murs peuvent sauver des hommes si le coeur y est !

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