A place for lovers of film, but of architecture too. It was starchitect (star architect in normal language) Renzo Piano that created the snail-like building of the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux – Pathé, opened in 2014. Unfortunately its wonderful shape is rather hidden behind classic Parisian facades, but if you look up from a distance you can actually see it. It is only because I live in the neighborhood and passed the buildings many times, that I noticed it and wanted to have a closer look at this spot.
The building’s entrance is a piece of classic architecture: it is worth some attention as it includes sculptures by Auguste Rodin (who has a museum dedicated to him elsewhere in Paris).
Once inside the building the main purpose is to watch silent movies, accompanied by a piano. But you can also access the first floor, where you can find the biggest collection of cameras that I have ever seen, showing models from as early as 1896 up to the 1980s.
It is a bit of a disappointment that the rest of the building – providing access to Piano’s genius spaces – is only provided by guided visits on Saturdays (in French). But should you be in Paris on a Saturday, and if you understand a little French, please go because it’s a hidden gem!
On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays silent films are shown at a rate of € 6,50. Also the institute organizes several film-related events and conferences, but most are in French.