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Cinemas in Marseille

By its advantageous assets which are its exceptional light and authentic settings, Marseille appears in many films and is positioned today in the 2nd  national rank in terme of film shooting. But it also  offers to its people and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the 7th Art thanks to the creation of many  establishments in the heart of the city and on the outskirts.  From the small neighborhood cinema to the latest state-of-the-art-complex installed in La Joliette, you will inevitably find the ideal place to enjoy your film.

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History of cinema in Marseille

Marseille and the cinema are one, it’s a very old story that goes back to 1896 when the first film of the Lumières Brothers saw the light of day in the Grand  Hôtel du Louvre et de la Paix, just two months after the world premiere in Paris. Many halls were built later, with an architecture modeled on theater halls, particularly in the Old Port and in Noailles.

1930 was a significant year for cinema in the life of the people of Marseille. There were many local cinemas: we remember establisments such as the ‘Regent’, considered as the most luxurious and comfortable cinema in Marseille, the  ‘Rialto’, the ‘ Majestic’, the  ‘Rex’, or even the ‘Star’… Marseille will even inaugurate  the first french drive-in  boulevard Schloesing, where Marseille residents could enjoy an open-air film from their car!

From the 1970s, local cinemas  have gradually disappeared : there are only two left,  César and  Variétés. Larger and modern ones have emerged, called multiplexes which have flourished on the outskirts of the city center:  Les 3 Palmes, cinéma the Prado, Pathé Marseille or the  multiplexe Europacorp at the Joliette area, ultra modern and  futuristic…

Marseille, a valued destination for films and series shootings

After the capital, Marseille is ranked as the second most filmed city in France.It is thanks to its living environment, its architectural and natural richness that make it a perfect city for shooting films and series, in very diverse places.  With more than 300 days of sunshine per year,  Marseille is a sought-after destination both for its brightness and its very favorable weather.

You certainly know the film  Love Actually by director Richard Curtis ! Many places in Marseille have served as a setting, such as the street ‘montée des Accoules’   in the  Panier area or  the ‘Bar de la Marine’ where the main characters  declared their love to each other in the scene.  There are also the timeless  Taxi saga,  the Transporter, or Marcel Pagnol’s trilogy… to name of few.

On the series side, Marseille is also fulfilled!  Plus Belle la Vie  television soap opera, broadcast for more than 15 years, which traces the daily life of a fictional district of Marseille, the Mistral. But also No Limit, Marseille, or even Plan B  a 2021 phenomenon series broadcast on  TF1.  Many are still being filmed in the city, but also in the many studios it owns.