The Musee du Cinema et de la Miniature is a unique museum based in the heart of Vieux Lyon. The museum plays host to a wide range of film sets and authentic props from some of the biggest films in the world. If you consider yourself a film fanatic, this is certainly the place for you.

The Facts

The Musee du Cinema et de la Miniature was founded in 2005 by the very talented museum director, Dan Ohlmann. It has 12 different showrooms dedicated to the two permanent collections of the museum; the miniature art and the other special effects and props used in famous films.

The miniature art section of the museum contains 100 ultra-realistic scenes created by the museum director, Dan Ohlmann and a handful of other very talented miniaturists (yes, it does have its own term!) from across the globe.

The second part of the museum focuses on cinema and special effects. This includes authentic movie materials such as costumes, film props, masks, prostheses, robots, animatronics, and all kinds of creatures and monsters. Many of these were used in movies before digital special effects became so popular, and a lot of them were used in a range of movies from the 1960’s right up to modern day classics (e.g. Jurassic Park, Mrs Doubtfire, Batman, Harry Potter, etc.)

The Location

The Musee du Cinema et de la Miniature on rue Saint-Jean, in the centre of Vieux Lyon. It is possible to get to the museum via a metro to Vieux Lyon station and then a 3-minute walk to the centre of the town.

Even if you feel you don’t have the time to go into the museum, it is worth walking past the museum as some of the amazing miniature art pieces are viewable through the front window.

As the museum is based in Vieux Lyon, it is worth keeping in mind that the streets on the way to the museum are cobblestoned. This may make it slightly difficult for wheelchairs, prams, etc.

The Experience

I found this museum a very enjoyable experience. If you are someone who has an interest in movies and how they are made, this is a must-see for you. The location of the museum mixed in with the museum’s directors work being proudly placed on display gives it an endearing and almost magical experience.

The cost of entry to the museum is €9 for adults, €7 for students, €6 for children aged 5-15 and children under the age of 5 go free. This makes the tour a must for families, it will no doubt entertain both you and your kids for a couple of hours.

A particular part of the tour which I found fascinating was the room displaying the enormous restored Alien prop from the movie with the same title. The story of how Ohlmann himself rescued the prop from being thrown out and restored it at the museum just shows how passionate the museum’s director is about films and their sets, and this really shines through when you experience the museum.