La Ciotat is the town of light par excellence. It is no coincidence that it convinced famous inventors of the cinema to develop their new activity that would revolutionize their era.

A bit of history

During the summer of 1895, taking advantage of his family’s stay at the Palais Lumière built in La Ciotat, Louis Lumière perfected the cinematograph and began shooting some thirty films among the first in the history of cinema: “L’Arrivée d’un Train en Gare de La Ciotat”, “L’arroseur arrosé”, “Querelle enfantine”.

The first private screening took place in the Grand Salon of the Palais Lumière on September 21, 1895 (a few weeks before Paris…). The first paying cinema screening took place on 21 March 1899 at the Éden Théâtre, making La Ciotat the true cradle of cinema. Since February 12, 1996, the Eden Théâtre cinema is registered as a supplementary inventory of historical monuments.

Places related to cinema

  • The Grand Salon: it is located in the Château du Clos des Plages, can be visited on certain occasions, including the European Heritage Days.
  • The Château du Clos des Plages: also known as Palais Lumière, it is located at the end of the Allée Lumière and is the former residence of the Lumière Family.
  • The Monument of the Lumière Brothers: near the Lumière Beach, it pays tribute to the inventors of the cinematograph.
  • The cinema plaque: it is installed at the railway station of La Ciotat to recall the shooting of the famous film “The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station”.

    Did you know?

    Built in 1889 and renovated identically in 2013, the Eden Theatre cinema,the oldest cinema in the world still in operation, has an art-house rated theater with “Heritage and Repertoire” and “Young Audience” labels. It entered the prestigious Guinness World Records in 2021.

    The cinemas of La Ciotat


    CGR Le Spot

    756 Av. Emile Bodin, 13600 La Ciotat
    Book a ticket

    Eden Théâtre

    25 Bd Georges Clemenceau, 13600 La Ciotat
    More info

    Good to know!

    The Festival du Premier Film Francophone has been held at the  Eden-Theatre cinema since 1981, the Lumexplore Festival (Science and Environment Exploration Film) has also been held there since 2016. In addition, the Eden-Theatre cinema hosts the Best Of International Short Films Festival (International Festival of the most awarded short films in the world), renamed the Festival le Cri du Court in 2022.