Eden Theater

The Eden Theater is a theater and cinema, located in La Ciotat ( Bouches-du-Rhône ). Inaugurated as a theater on June 16, 1889, it is, in the world, the oldest theater and theater still in activity. The Eden is classified since February 12, 1996 in annex of the inventory of the historical monuments. It belongs to the city of La Ciotat since 1992 and is part of the heritage of the th Art 1 .


Initially, the Eden was a theater, inaugurated on June 16, 1889 , which hosted variety shows ( theater , concerts ), but also sports galas ( boxing , Greco-Roman wrestling , etc.). October 14, 1895 took place there one of the first film screenings private organized by the Lumière Brothers 2 . Indeed, Louis Lumière had just turned at that time about twenty of his first animated photographic views in the city and its surroundings, which are part, with those of Thomas Edison andWilliam Kennedy Laurie Dickson , first movies 3 , 4 .

From March 21, 1899 , Raoul Gallaud, the owner of the room, regularly diffuses Lumière films (250 spectators on this first date, to see for example Launch of a ship in La Ciotat ), alternating with other programs entertainment (acrobats, songs, boxing matches, etc.). Later, on the stage of L’Eden, young artists made their first steps, among them Bernard Blieror Fernandel 3 .

The reopening

On December 3, 1982, Georges Giodana, his owner, was shot dead during a burglary. The room is resumed but the case will not continue. In 1992, the municipality of obedience RPR (right), which has just delighted the mayor of the PCF (far left), bought the Eden and class monument . Communists return to power in 1995, however, their priorities are no longer the same. A security commission obliges Eden to close its doors in 1995. The closure of the Shipyard of La Ciotat also ruins the city, making the future of Eden uncertain. The building falls into ruin 3 .

After a rehabilitation realized thanks to the effort of the collectivities and the mobilization of associations, under the directives of the architects Nicolas Masson (agency NJMH Architects) and André Stern, the Eden Theater reopens its doors the under the label Art et Essai 5 . The renovation is largely inspired by the state of the room when it opened in 1889 . However, the new facade, ocher yellow with mosaics, has been rebuilt; the original facade, classified, was not modifiable and remains hidden behind. The interior floor is marble and black ironwork of the staircase is vintage 3 . The theater is Italian style and has 142 seats 6 .

Notes and references

  1. ↑ [1]  [ archive ]
  2. ↑ http://edencinemalaciotat.com/leplusvieuxcinemadumonde.html  [ archive ] , accessed March 27, 2016.
  3. ↑ a , b , c and d Lena Lutaud, “New ticket to Eden”  [ archive ] , Le Figaro , insert ”  Le Figaro and you  ” Tuesday, October 8, 2013, page 30.
  4. ↑ Marie-France Briselance and Jean-Claude Morin , film grammar , Paris, New World ,, 588  p. ( ISBN  978-2-84736-458-3 ) , p.  31-34
  5. ↑ “The oldest cinema of the world: Eden reborn in La Ciotat.” Direct Matin , October 10, 2013, p.13.
  6. ↑ Lena Lutaud, “a coveted cinema paradise”  [ archive ] , Le Figaro , Friday, August 14, 2015, page 12.

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