City of Cinema: Paris 1850–1907

20 Feb 2022 – 10 Jul 2022

Regular hours

10:00 – 19:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 20:00
10:00 – 19:00

Cost of entry

Adults: $25 (Concessions available)

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Placing cinema in the context of 19th-century Parisian visual culture, City of Cinema: Paris 1850–1907 explores how film emerged amid a wave of social, political, artistic, and technological developments.


The exhibition brings together paintings, sculpture, posters, prints, photography, and film to reflect the range of artistic experiments that culminated in cinema as a mass medium. The story begins on the streets of Paris, where a diverse populace formed a collective audience for visual spectacle. The exhibition proceeds to domestic and theatrical sites of entertainment, where sociable viewing took place. Moving to local and global sites of production, City of Cinema considers how individuals drew upon technology and fine arts to explore the new medium's potential. Culminating with a purpose-built Salle du Cinema (movie theater), City of Cinema reveals how citizens became spectators, and how film evolved from novel entertainment to the greatest art form of the 20th century.​


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