Musée Cinéma et Miniature
60 Rue Saint-Jean, 69005 Lyon, France
Why the Musée Cinéma et Miniature is one of the best Lyonnais Museums and why you should visit it?If I knew better, I would never waited 6 months to visit my (now i will call it!) Top Lyonnais Museum - Musée Cinéma et Miniature! Yes, I have been living in Lyon for almost half a year and I have just visited the beautiful & unique, special and so different and interesting museum of Miniature and Cinema...so let me tell you why it is so good and why you should not wait at all, but put it on the top place in your list of things to do in Lyon!
So firstly, it is located at 60 Rue Saint-Jean, in the heart of in the historical centre of Lyon, in “Vieux-Lyon”. What is more - the venue itself is really impressive. Basically, the museum is situated in the “Maison des Avocats” (Lawyers’ House) so in the 16th century building which is now a UNESCO world heritage site. Its a very nice experience just to walk through the building!
Secondly, it has been set up by the real passionate and artist Dan Ohlmann. So as you can imagine it has been created with the real love for the art, miniature and cinema! That is why it is so special and unique and you can feel it in each of the rooms of the museum.
Thirdly, the museum holds an impressive collections which we can divided into 2 main parts: the Miniature Exhibition and the Movie Special Effects One.
● The Miniature Part which contains thousands of pieces of tiny elements and have been created by Ohlmann himself but also by the other world-renowned miniaturists and artists . Ohlmann has been collecting those art works during his travels. These are reproductions of the daily life settings and the most impressive are the zen temple in Japan, a Lyons weaving shop, a school classroom just to name a few. All elements are very detailed and sometimes you would need a magnifying glass to see them. They all have been built to the scale of 1:12.m. There is also an impressive Salle des Performances which display the most elaborate and delicate pieces: chiselled eggs, micro paper art, origami, sculpted matches etc. in the Miniature Exhibition Part.
● Moving forward, we reach the The Movie Special Effects Part which contains over 300 original film props, artefacts and objects including actual miniature film sets, costumes, models, masks, prosthetic make-up, fake animals, robots, monsters and aliens. It encompasses many celebrated films starting from the Sixties and have been collected over the past 20 years. Many of movies elements came from the the biggest American, British, German and French studios. The most impressive display contains original elements from such movies as "Gladiator", "Aliens", "Independence day", "Minority Report" etc. There is also a permanent exhibition devoted to film artists which collection has been steadily expanding since 2011 with new acquisitions every month. What is more, the Cinema Part contains the exhibition’s educational elements. They have been created by film journalist Alain Bielik who is the founder and editor of special effects magazine “S.F.X”. Its a great museum asset so the visitors can really learn and understand some of the special movie effects themselves, It is presented in an interesting way so it capture your attention easily. The exhibition is a tribute to some of the most renowned film artists, such as Academy Award winners or New Deal Studios etc.
It is actually the one-of-its-kind museum in Europe, that focuses on special effects techniques!
As you can imagine, in order to hold all those two rare, exclusive and huge displays the museum has to be pretty big. And it is! The exhibitions are spread across 8 rooms, 5 floors, on almost 2,000 m² of space. And what is also good about this Museum, is the fact that it is developing and growing constantly. The staff artists work daily to produce new scale miniatures and restore genuine film props in their workshop. And the Special Effects Part received recently an impressive elements from Jurassic Park and Mrs. Doubtfire movies.
Lastly but most importantly, something more about the Museum Founder who is a significant artist and an interesting man. Dan Ohlmann has extreme passion and talent for the cinema and miniature. All started for him with his former work of cabinetmaker and inner architect. In 1985 in Paris he began creating the scale furniture works and his first internationally famous creation was a 1/12th-scale model of the world famous Chez Maxim’s restaurant in Paris which he made in 1987. In 1989 he opened the Palais de la Miniature (The Miniature Palace) in Paris which served people for over ten years and exhibited more than 1,000 miniature masterpieces from all over the world. But the venue started to be not enough for the growing collections and so In 2003, when Ohlmann was offered much bigger venue for his works, he didnt hesitate too long and in 2005 he openedMusée Cinéma et Miniature in Lyon.