The Cinémathèque is an absolute must for any movie lovers in Paris. On the edge of the Parc de Bercy, this Frank Gehry building houses one of the most extensive collections of film-related items and proposes exhibitions, a film library, and daily movie screenings. A trip here is anything but a typical movie-going experience.
I’ll be first to admit that I’m not the biggest movie buff, but I still enjoy trips to the Cinémathèque. Nothing’s cooler than seeing a classic movie on the big screen or having a Q&A with a director. With a varied program of avant-garde films, classic movies, and in-depth director exhibitions, there’s bound to be something up your alley. Check their website and see what’s on this season, and go an hour or two early to visit the bookshop and museum while you’re there.
When you first walk in, you’re welcomed into an airy atrium with the 400 Coups café on the ground floor and movie magic awaiting upstairs. The large auditorium-like cinema is on the mezzanine, and with seating on a first-come, first-served basis, lines start to form about 20 minutes before a showing. A warning to all my fellow Americans—there are no concessions, so you’ll have to manage without popcorn (something that’s very hard for me to do!).
The second floor of the building houses the Museum of Film, displaying 100-year-old cameras and early motion picture equipment alongside iconic costumes and unusual props. Retracing the history of cinema, the shadowy galleries use various projections to illustrate technological advancements and to give you a glimpse of old movies.