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My visit to the Cite du Cinema in Paris

La Villette Paris

Open Air Cinema Paris

La Villette open air cinema Paris

I really love the 19th arrondissement, it’s where I first lived when I got to Paris and apart from the nostalgia, I like it’s industrial side with all it’s old warehouses being transformed into cinemas, concert halls, cafes, offices and public spaces. The canal runs through this part of Paris (see here for my love for the Canal Saint Martin) and it brings movement, freshness to a very urban landscape.

Festival Open Air Cinema Paris

Apart from the fabulous street art and tags that I come accross here regularly, I discovered the Cite du Cinema, Luc Besson titantic project, this summer (I got to see A History of Violence by David Cronenberg in the warm night Paris air, it was great!).

It is located in the midsts of La Villette, a huge complex of cinemas, cafes, exhibition centres, docks , cycle paths, parks and La Geode (a 360° cinema), La Cité des Sciences (where I take my son regularly to discover the basics of science and biologie, explained for kids and adults) and just a really amazing architectural display of recycled factories, a reconverted slaughter house (yes) and warehouses that are now beautifully renovated and brought to life.

It reminded me of Venice’s Arsenal, which were once a series of old docks and warehouses turned into galleries, restaurants and exhibition halls (which hosts the Biennale of Contemporary Art there). But more about my visit there in another post.

The Cité du Cinema is a massive project which was launched 12 years ago by the Director and genius Luc Besson: to bring studios to Paris and cinema back to France, to enable french film makers to create and film in their own country, once again. For this, an old power station was totally renovated and gave way to a beautiful 62000 m2 space full of prodcution offices, cinema studios, a school of cinematography and an open air cinema (which I was lucky to go to during the open air cinema festival in August). Here are some recent photos I took on my walk around this super modernist district.

Modern, innovative, recycled, industrial and just so so full of space (for Paris, this is a luxury), I love walking around these docks and buildings like I walk around Wapping’s docks in London or the Meat Packing District in New York.

Here’s to not knocking down but instead, to recondition, preserve and build UPON our heritage!

La Villette, Paris (metro La Villette)

La Geode Paris


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