World's oldest cinema to reopen in France's La Ciotat

The world's oldest movie theatre reopens Wednesday after an extensive refurbishment in the southern French city of La Ciotat, where the Lumière brothers screened the very first moving picture of a train arriving at the local station in 1899.

The Eden Theatre, closed since 1995, has been redone with velvet seats and refurbished oak floors replacing its orginal carpets while yellow paint and mosaic tiles now decorate its facade.

Auguste and Louis Lumière presented their first moving picture to some 250 stunned spectators on March 21, 1899, at the seafront theatre, located not far from the port city of Marseille. Filmed in 1895, the black-and-white silent movie, "Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat", shows a steam train pulling into a station, and passengers getting on and off.

Legend has it that when the 50-second film was first shown, spectators were so terrified at the image of a train moving towards them that they leapt out of their chairs in panic.

The brothers had previously showcased their work at their wealthy industrialist father's home and at other cinemas, but these buildings have long since disappeared.



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