The Ideal Cinema-Jacques Tati

The Ideal Cinema Hall – Jacques Tati is inaugurated in Aniche on. Its first public meeting took place on November 23, 1905 by the Société du cinématographe automobile 1 , which makes this fixed motion theater in operation the oldest cinema in the world for a paid public session; the only working cinema in the world, under public management.

The complex Claude Berri is composed of the Ideal Cinema – Jacques Tati as well as the room Louis Pol , under public management of the city of Aniche.

Since 1902, it is located rue de la Pyramide, renamed rue Wambrouck, and has been renovated several times.

The Ideal Cinema – Jacques Tati begins its history as House of the People then like the hotel of the union of the glassmakers .

History of the Glass Union

The history of glass is old and the glassmakers had privileges, especially the Glass Masters. Thus there existed a privilege of the glassmakers, that of not derogating from nobility. One derogates from nobility by exercising a trade or a mechanical art 2 .

On December 30, 1880 a paying conference organized by Mr. Fourriere to appoint a union chamber. this conference attracts few people, but on August 3, 1882 the union chamber of the glass workers of Aniche and surroundings is created with 268 members.

The 1886 crisis

A canopy crisis triggered in 1886. The master glassmaker impose the st May to st November 1 pay cut, first to the top of glassware called Citadel by Mr. Desmaison. The union chamber does not accept what results in four months of unemployment. Management takes the opportunity to set up new Siemans basin ovens using Belgian day laborers. The other glassworks will follow glassware Saint-Martin , Verreries Sainte-Catherine , Saint-Laurent , glassware Saint-Albert , Union glassware and Verreries Caton. The crisis continuing Verreries Sainte-Catherine and glassware Saint-Albert firm as well as glassware Victor Fogt.

Fifteen bosses then agree to lower wages. They founded the North glass counters administered by Paul Hayez who at 27 will become a deputy then senator.

In 1891, the National Glass Federation, after the Lyon Congress, issued a general strike order to be followed by 3,200 glassmakers in the Northern region, but in Aniche the union, which is held by the glassblowers, merely sent help. The strike fails. This will lead to the union of glassmakers with Fresnes-sur-Escaut , Escautpont , Bruay-sur-l’Escaut , Marchiennes , Henin-Liétard and Aniche but the persistent crisis the union is exhausted.

The condition of the glass workers is very hard. The broken cheeks resulting from the blowing of the glass but also the professional Syphilis of the glassmakers (transmitted by the blowing rods that pass from mouth to mouth) is declared an occupational accident by three successive judgments and confirmed on appeal in 1898 3 , 4

In 1899 Paul Quévy, Albert Gallet, Jean-Baptiste Bourlon the union repsonde and bought a land for 16000 Frs and make it a house of the People who will become the hotel of the syndicate ‘ and Ideal Cinema – Jacques Tati 5 .

The great strike of 1900

The master glassmakers through the association of the glassmakers deposit at the Prud’hommes June 18 a new regulation without informing the union. Its application is active on July st . On July 4 in a joint meeting the union demands the cancellation of the new regulation and the suppression of Sunday work. “The meeting is over. You can withdraw, We will not respond to your request ” was the answer.

The new regulation in Article 5 provided that any unauthorized absence was at the expense of the absentee if replaced by a higher-wage worker and was liable for damages for the master glassmaker.

The old contracts are not renewed, August 12 a general strike is triggered, two thousand workers are affected.

During the strike the construction of the House of the People is well underway with the demolition of ruined cottages and the construction which will last eighteen months.

On October 2nd a meeting does not get a raise. On the return of the 8 delegates to 1,500 workers, the continuation of the strike is voted. 300 glassblowers parade in the street singing L’Internationale and La Carmagnole .

Alfred Léon Gérault-Richard socialist deputy of Guadeloupe (with electoral fraud), Auguste-Robert Selle , mayor of Denain , deputy of the United Socialist Party and Leon Escoffier , Freemason lawyer installed in the North undertakes an early approach to the Movement worker come to support the strike.

The prefect of the North, the sub-prefect of Douai tries a conciliation but the demonstrations continue and 104 gendarmes on foot and on horseback are deployed.

November 15 Alexander Millerand then Minister of Commerce, Industry, Posts and Telegraphs refuses to endorse the movement. Many workers leave for Russia, Belgium, for other trades but some continue demonstrations more than 800 demonstrators in the town hall square, reinforcement of 50 gendarmes.

The movement gained political momentum with Émile Basly , MP, who inspired Émile Zola to play Étienne Lantier in Germinal . Émile Basly advocates the creation of a cooperative glassware based on the Verrerie ouvrière d’Albi .

The master glassmakers make an ultimatum for a resumption of work on December 15 threatening the closure of the glass concessions. The return to work was passed after 164 days of strike, strikers 1129, 864 unemployed and 30,000 Frs relief paid by American glassmakers 5 .

The workers’ cooperative glassware

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Alfred Léon Gérault-Richard had already mentioned it in 1900 to be realized at the arsenal of Douai but on April 15, 1901 the Verrerie cooperative worker of Aniche is constituted. Raoul Hancart is chairman of the board of directors, the glassworks is perfectly located in Aniche with a direct connection to the station. Work is progressing well with the construction of basins, brick kilns, water towers, gas generators, drying stalls for the start of production in 1902. The master glassmakers prepared the response flooding the market and lowering prices at the time of the production launch. Five months later the ovens are turned off. One year later the dissolved meetingWorker cooperative glassworks of Aniche .

During this period the union reorganized in October 1901 with moderates Albert Gallet and Paul Quévy. They give way to another team Guesdist trend and socialist reformists 5 .

The House of the People

Sunday, January 26, 1902 The House of the People is inaugurated by the new president Joseph Humez and Raoul Hancart as secretary-treasurer of the union. . The construction cost is 77,271Frs. A big ball follows.

The glass union joins the General Confederation of Labor in an anarcho-syndicalist trend . He gathers Aniche , Marchiennes , Hénin-Liétard loses power after the strike vis-à-vis the master glassmakers but it is not counting the Federation of glassmakers which includes 20 unions headed by Charles Delzant .

A fund of relief is instituted to help the sick, the infirm, funeral expenses.

And we must also organize the activities.

A dozen balls a year with the conscripts. A first theater session on January 18, 1903. Concerts, boxing contests, cockfights and political and union conferences, but also a magnetism evening by François Jollivet-Castelot from Douai ; Treasurer General of the Spiritualist Communist Union 6 .

On November 23, 1905, the Cinema automobile will make a first projection of cinema.

A café is created whose manager is paid by the union, the left wing is rented to Louis Brasseur for a cooperative The future of workers that will last from 1903 to 1911.

Part of it is rented to the French Federation of Glass Workers whose president is Charles Delzant . He will also install the copy of La Voix des Verriers, which will print 6,000 copies. The Voice of the glass seeks to educate, defend wages, the reasons of the crisis and expose abuses 5 . He denounces Freemasonry negatively influencing all Northern trade union movements, strikebreakers and yellow unions (as opposed to red) 7 .

At the funeral of Louise Michel in January 1905, Benoît Broutchoux who expects to be incarcerated, asks Pierre Monatte come to replace Lens to animate The Union action log miners 8 .

Charles Delzant editor of the journal of glassmakers will become a close friend of Pierre Monatte .

The voice of the glassmakers

At the request of the glassmakers congress in Lyon in 1902, La Voix des Verriers is launched. The Voice of Glassmakers is a monthly newspaper whose first release dates from March 1903.

The Voix des Verriers denounces the mortality of children from 30% to 25 years. The cannons carry three cannons of glass one under each arm and one on the shoulder, after several fatal accidents, the labor inspector prohibits the wearing of 3 guns. The laying off of 30 glassmakers to leave the oven because of the heat, etc.

Gregory Nicholas, on May 12, 1904, was slaughtered at the age of 13 by a broken glass cannon. The same year, it is Bourriez in another glassware. The glass cannons are also referred to as the guillotine . June 15, 1905 The voice of the glass tells children working at night, falling asleep standing against the walls and abused their elders 9 .

Charles Delzant also denounces children, apprentices glassmakers, put in cells for mischief or peccadilloes. Children grouped in Bâtarderies framed by padroni . “The cells are made in such a way that the prisoner must stand upright without the ability to sit down, closed by grilles which in the winter let the cold pass. The punished children stay in the cell all night, fed bread and water. They have to provide the amount of work the next day ” 9 .

The anarchist Benoît Broutchoux , opponent of Emile Basly , whom he considered a traitor passed on the side of the bosses, organizes on September 10, 1910 in the cinema a conference on the expensive life. This conference follows a demonstration on 29 August in Billy-Montigny , protesters went to a baker to impose their tariffs. This baker pulled out a gun and killed a miner. The reaction of women was highly virulent and the army had to intervene to protect the baker 10 , 11 . Following the rally, Broutchoux, for the words spoken, François Prade for throwing stones at the gendarmes who were taking Broutchoux, were arrested 12 , 13.

The Abbé Lemire , MP Hazebrouck, took testimony from Delzant and publishes its report on The Night work of children in factories continuous fire evoking the work glassware including Arques where children placed by the abbot Santol are worse than prisoners 14 .

In 1911, Raoul Hancart resigned from the union and the federation. The Voice of the Glassmakers stops. He is replaced by Roger Schneider as president, and Joseph Humez as secretary-treasurer. Roger Schneider also militates for free love , he is a known libertarian 5 .

Charles Delzant describes the glass condition on June 15, 1912 in the Voice of Glassmakers “This is what makes us say that instead of ignorant children, as we take them from parents who can not send them to school, as we go to Brittany, Savoy, Italy and in Spain, it is necessary for the glass industry to have young people having a maximum of primary education and to give them a special education on the dangers of the trade, and the necessities of defending them. As for the dwellings in which certain employers oblige their workmen to lodge, the niches of their hunting dogs are certainly more luxurious and cleaner. Hygiene advice, if it exists and wants to work, would be good to go and order disinfectors and launderers, unless, which would be better for public health, it would have the torch put on it. And”It is usually seated on the floor, on the composition or on a brick, in the middle of the microbial dust raised by the sweeper, that men and children take their meals. The lavatories, urinals, drinking water for drinking, this is not an essential part of glassware; no more than changing rooms or larders 15 . ”

Voice of glass in o  194 of 15 March 1913 denounces the working girls near stoves: “I saw girls of 11 and 18 work in kilns and if this work is painful for the boys he is a murderer to girls » 16 .

World War

Charles Delzant and Pierre Monatte are opposed to the Sacred Union , movement of political rapprochement with the announcement of the war, like Alphonse Merrheim born in La Madeleine , secretary of the Federation of the metals of the CGT, he is, from 1915 , one of the first French trade unionists to animate the movement of refusal of the war . Trotsky , at his request and through Julius Martov approaches Pierre Monatte to create a union with the world of trade unions 17 At the beginning close to the libertarian movement , He participates with Albert Bourderon 18(Trade Union CGT Tonneau Federation, and delegate to the Federation of Stock Exchanges) at the Zimmerwald Conference in 1915 where he appears as one of the main leaders of the majority against the current represented by Lenin .

How did the meeting between the Russian International and the French International take place as opposed to The Sacred Union , very limited to a sector of trade unionists? Trotsky in his memoirs “Soon after my arrival in Paris, Julius Martov and I go in search of Pierre Monatte, one of the editors of the Vie Ouvrière  ” . Once a week Quai de Jemmappe a meeting takes place with Trotsky, Roger Bourderon, Alfred Rosmer , Henri Guilbeaux and Julius Martov 19 .

1921 the split

In June 1921, Roger Schneider and Olivier Humez voted for the minority motion at the CGT departmental congress, affiliating it with the General Confederation of Unitary Work, which was born of Communist and Russian obedience to join the Red Trade Union . Charles Delzant remaining CGT Lafayettiste since the seat is boulevard Lafayette in Paris. The split between glass unionists is ratified.

The Second National Congress of the General Confederation of Unitary Glass Work takes place in the Union Hotel in 1924 5 , 20

Major characters

  • Charles Delzant , (1874-1943) born in Fresnes-sur-Escaut , is one of the leaders of anarcho-syndicalism , secretary general of the federation of glassmakers since its creation in 1902, he is friend with Pierre Monatte and close to Boris Souvarine and Alfred Rosmer 21 . From March 15, 1904 he installed the drafting of La Vie des Verriers drawing 6,000 copies.
  • Raoul Hancart secretary of the glassmakers’ union until 1912 he represents with Péquignot the French Federation of glass at the Congress of the unions of Marseille in October 1908 22 .

Roger Schneider and Lenin

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Roger Schneider born in Hautmont on November 8, 1866; dies at Aniche on August 28, 1932. Verrier; unionist and member of the municipal council, he is the initiator of the opening of the Ideal cinema. His meetings with Lenin in Switzerland were regular.The cinema becomes a tool of propaganda.

Lenin went to Switzerland in early 1895 to meet the founders of the first Russian Marxist cell, Georgi Plekhanov and Pavel Axelrod 23 and from 1909 to 1917 in Montreux . The power Soviet , after Lenin ( “Film is for us, of all the arts, the most important” 24 ) develops a state theater, both well funded and exposed to censorship 25 . Paradoxically, this state cinema will give birth to the innovations of the Soviet avant-garde, and filmmakers Sergei Eisenstein , Vsevolod Pudovkin and Alexander Dovjenko. The relationship between these great creators and the Soviet power, however, always keep an ambiguous character 26 .

History of the cinema

The first film shot by Louis Lumière is Sortie de usine , better known today as La Sortie des usine Lumière . It was shot in Lyon, rue Saint-Victor (today rue du Premier-Film, where the Institut Lumière is located), March 19, 1895 27 .

In La Ciotat , L’Eden Théâtre is a performance hall, inaugurated on June 16, 1889 , which hosted variety shows ( theater , concerts ), but also sports galas ( boxing , Greco-Roman wrestling , etc.). In 1895 , there was the first private cinema screening organized by the Lumière brothers and the following ones took place in 1905 and 1907. The first public screening of the Lumière took place on December 28, 1895 at the Salon du Grand Café , boulevard des Capucines in Paris. Paris. The session is presented byAntoine Lumière in front of thirty-three spectators. Charles Moisson, the builder of the aircraft, will be the chief engineer and will oversee the projection. The price of the session will be fixed at 1 franc.

The full program of the first paid public session in Paris included 10 films all produced in 1895  : 28

  1. The exit of the Lumière factory in Lyon ‘

Aniche makes his cinema (historical)

Aniche , at the beginning of xx th  century, then industrial city of coal and glass with nearly 8,000.

Aniche is distinguished by a strong union representation as evidenced by the powerful glassworkers’ union with 1,800 strong members. This union chamber decided in 1900, under the presidency of Albert Gallet and Paul Quévy, to acquire land and build a building to accommodate their new headquarters with a large multipurpose room for union meetings and other more festive events.
The Trade Union of glass thus leaving Moreau hotel in o  15 rue Patoux.

The inauguration of the Hôtel des Syndicat des Verriers took place on January 26, 1902 under the mandate of Charles Adolphe Scelles, Mayor of the city.
The building is also called The People’s House on old postcards.

For prosperity, Aniche, interested cinematographers and so it is early in the year 1905 in the first silent film screenings take place at Joseph Leloup, an innkeeper at o  12 rue Thiers in Aniche.

Then, with the ducasse of September 1905, a marquee hosts the screenings of the Select-Sorisus and, on November 23, 1905, the first projection by the automobile cinema with 600 seats in the hall of the Hotel des Syndicats glassmakers, which will become “The Ideal Cinema”.

The films are at this time of short duration. A Trip to the Moon by Georges Méliès 1902 lasted only 14 minutes.

Related article: List of French films released before 1920 .

The Hôtel du Syndicat regularly hosts Pathé or Gaumont but, for financial reasons, the committee commits itself with the company Splendid Cinéma . The sessions are divided into three parts each of three films. At the time, the management was entrusted to Mr. Eloi Joseph Lanoy, coffee maker and elected mayor of the city in 1910.

In 1911, Aniche has four cinemas: the Splendid Cinema at the Hôtel du syndicale since December 1909; The Royal Cinema (Patoux Street, February 1910); the Eldorado, 12 rue Thiers (1910) and the Casino des familles (rue Lemaire 1911) with manager ME Lannoy.

At the Hôtel du Syndicat, the company of Splendid Cinema withdraws in 1911. The manager therefore calls the companies Excelsior-Rehaux and The Rex Cinema for the projections.
On December 21, 1912, a decree forced the operators to isolate their projection room and fix the chairs and benches on the ground.
Mr. Louis Pol takes over the management and the cinema is renamed L’Idéal cinéma.
During the First World War, under the guise of the Red Cross , the Hispanic-American committee supplies the civilians. The Union Hotel with its cinema became a supply center until March 31, 1919.

As early as 1922, a projection apparatus was bought for 22,915 francs and the room was named L’Idéal cinéma .

The glass crisis of 1927 and the dead ovens reduce the strength of the union (400 in 1925) and affect the attendance of its cinema. But in 1936, many members are new members and the union is strengthened.
The cinema is reorganized to make it a pretty provincial hall in front of the Cinema des Maîtres glassmakers and bourgeois, the Royal Cinema . Its capacity increases to 850 places including balcony and dovecote.
On May 10, 1940, the exodus of the population led to the closure of cinemas for several months. Severe censorship is applied. The halls remain illuminated to spot the disruptive, rowdy and protesters during propaganda projections of the Deutsche Wochenschau.

The arrival of television announces the decline of movie theaters, a situation that weighs on The Ideal Cinema and its manager Mr. Louis Pol, who retired in 1955 at the age of 67 years. He died on June 24, 1958. The Union of Glassworkers then appointed Mr. Charles Moreau to replace him. In 1960, he will renovate the lower part of the facade.

The Royal Cinema closed on June 30, 1967 with the retirement of its manager Mr. Paul Thibault (died 26/10/2000).
The Ideal Cinema tries to maintain its activity. It is the only cinema of the city, but the conformity of the room is no longer ensured and a municipal decree causes its closure on February 4, 1977 29 .

A major restructuring took place under the leadership of Michel Meurdesoif, Mayor, Alain Moret, who succeeded in 1976 Charles Moreau and Georges Hugot ( 1922 – 2000 ), artist and sculptor, professor at the School of Fine Arts de Douai, author of numerous sculptures installed in Aniche, including the Monument of Glass and Coal. Deputy Mayor of Aniche from 1983 to 1995, he launched and developed cultural policy in the commune. He was responsible for rebuilding the “Idéal” cinema, called “L’Idéal Cinéma-Jacques Tati” in 1995. The theater, which could hold 850 people, was then divided in two.

Ideal Cinema – Jacques Tati was inaugurated, at the same location as the Hôtel du Syndicat on May 3, 1995. On October 31, 2012, a new inauguration took place for the transition to digital 3D. New: change of seats and sets to accommodate 187 seats, locations for people with reduced mobility.

Aniche and cinemas

At the beginning of xx th  century to provide a counterweight to the action of the union of glass; master glassmakers and bourgeois launch their own cinema in the former headquarters of the Union of glass Moreau hotel o  15 of Patoux street. February 5, 1910 opens the Royal Cinema proposing 4 sessions and thus projecting 16 films. In January 1911, the Casino des Familles rue Lemaire also opened in Aniche.

Three movie theaters in Aniche; traveling film companies are no longer coming to the city. The effect of past curiosity created by the cinematograph fades and the rooms do not open anymore in winter.

Some in the 1950s as Mr. Oscar Célisse; projectionist; organized henhouse sessions, among the chickens at night a sheet drawn on the chicken coop fence; two benches the projection started 30 .

Aniche, city of glass, in the history of photography and film

The glass industry in Aniche was one of the largest in Europe and the brothers Lumiére were shareholders of Verreries Belotte . The Société anonyme des plaques et papiersiles Antoine Lumière and his sons (Lyon) has as its suppliers the Verreries de la Gare, better known under the name of “Verreries Belotte”. Glass was useful for glass plates ; mirror and lenses of photographic and cinematographic cameras .

Dans les débuts de la photographie, la plaque de verre fut d’abord humide : le photographe devait la préparer sur place, c’est-à-dire étaler convenablement l’émulsion photographique sur le verre au moment de l’emploi. Puis les Frères Lumière (Auguste et Louis) inventèrent la plaque sèche, disponible dans le commerce des années 1890 jusque vers 1950.

Georges Demenÿ, né à Douai le according to sources 1891 or 1892 , while he is the assistant of Jules-Étienne Marey , he invents the phonoscope , then, in 1894 , the eccentric cam chronophotographer , which makes him a precursor of cinema . He sold his rights to the Chronophotographe to Léon Gaumont 31 .

Jacques-Tati cinema-ideal-lays commemorative plaque of the oldest working-class cinema in the world on November 17, 2013 by Michel Meurdesoif (mayor in the center), Roger Facon (cultural assistant on the right), Serge Ottaviani (historian, inventor)

The oldest active cinemas

Main article: Movie theater .

The Eden Theater , in La Ciotat , inaugurated in 1889 is the oldest cinema in the world in activity for a private session, but Ideal Cinema Jacques Tati is the oldest cinema in the world for a public session; the only working cinema in the world with a duration of opening is superior to that of the Eden Theater.

In the Guinness Book of Records , in Denmark Korsør , the Korsør Biograf Teater , which opened in 1908, says the world’s oldest theater still in operation 32 . and was accepted as such by the Guinness Book of Records world Records as the oldest cinema still operating 33 previously the Pionier cinema Kino in Szczecin in Poland was previously registered in the Guinness Book of Records 34 .


Documentary by Bernard Pavelek – The Ideal Cinema or The Dream Places
  • 2007 Bernard Pavelek – The Ideal Cinema or The places of dreams – documentary of 52 min in 16 mm color – music of Paul Sauvanet.
  • 2012 Bernard Pavelek – Coming Nowhere – trailer – music by Viviane Redeuilh 35


Cinémania is a cultural event created in 2010 taking place in November with guests around a cinematographic theme.

Jean-Pierre Mocky , Noël Simsolo , Roger Faconat Cinémania II at L’Idéal Cinema-Jacques Tati d’ Aniche in November 2012

Commemorating the 110 years of cinema


As part of the 110th anniversary festivities of L’Idéal Cinema-Jacques Tati d’ Aniche , the oldest cinema in the world in activity for a public session, Valérie Bonneton who spent her youth in Aniche presents on November 21st 2015 a world premiere with two screenings of the film Le Grand Partage 36


  • October 12, 2014 the first tourist circuit in France; focused exclusively on the theme of cinema, stopped at The Ideal Cinema.
  • France 3 Nord-Pas-de-Calais realized on 4/11/2014 an Aniche direct focusing on the history of cinema and the hotel of the glassmaking syndicate, completed by a documentary on the Glass Memory Center from above .

Virgine Demange , a journalist, could not direct the cinema because of the intervention of the CGT glassmaker to try to publicize the next central works council to decide on the restarting of the oven of the Saint-Laurent factory . Gobain d ‘ Aniche stopped since April 2012 37 . A session attended by about 100 children was not interrupted.

  • Ideal Cinema-Jacques Tati the only working cinema in the world

  • L’Idéal Cinéma Jacques Tati The e  oldest theater in operation since 1905 in the world

  • Karen Luong; of Fine Arts in Paris recreates a model of cinema with its old facade on the basis of plans at the time. (Presentation end of 2014)
  • For the festivities of the 110th anniversary of L’Idéal Cinema-Jacques Tati ‘d’ Aniche , the film Le Grand Partage was screened in world premiere on November 21st, 2015 in the presence of Valérie Bonneton 38


  • Roger Facon , Fulcanelli & the Red Alchemists , Editions of The Eye of the Sphinx,, 140  p. ( ISBN  9791091506496 )
  • Roger Facon , The Fantastic Adventure of the Ideal-Cinema , Abyss Editions,, 140  p. ( ISBN  979-10-95648-00-0 )

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