Soak up celluloid bliss at Museo del Cinema Torino in Turin, Italy. The museum is an Italian temple to cinema.
Museo del Cinema
After a long flight, I’m tempted to lie down in a bright red chaise lounge in Turin’s Museo del Cinema. And having a snooze while Clark Gable flickers on the giant screen sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately, I’m squeezed for time and I only have two hours to explore the multi-storey Museo Nazionale del Cinema.
Believe me, the museum is worth exploring. Actually, if you’re a cinema fan you could spend all day here.
Temple Hall is the heart of the museum and is surrounded by 10 chapels dedicated to different aspects of cinema.
One of those is a laboratory of special effects with a walk-in fridge full of lavatories (you get to sit on toilet seat while watching Monty Python!). There’s also a room with angled mirrors that brings animation to life and a room devoted to Gothic horror.
This museum is a shrine to film and displays are beautifully presented over five levels. There are plenty of interactive multimedia collections that meld historic props with cutting-edge technology.
The building itself is pretty funky. It’s the 19th-century Mole Antonelliana skyscraper, which was commissioned in 1863 as a synagogue. The city’s Jewish community certainly had an eye for structure. In 2000, Swiss architect Francois Confino transformed it into a museum.
There’s a glass-walled elevator that zips up to an outdoor observation platform, where you’ll get wonderful views of Turin and the Alps.
Fan of The Godfather?
Are you a fan of The Godfather? Yes, the original script is housed here, along with a bunch of other original movie scripts. There are other original props like Fellini’s hat and Charlie Chaplin’s bowler. Oh yes, Star Wars fans will love Darth Vader’s mask.
There’s an entire section devoted to cinema technology, with 3,500 items from the late 18th and early 19th centuries such as magic lanterns, 18th-century optical boxes and a rare collection of 200 historic documents about the development and the circulation of optical shows.
Another section shows the history of photography with 130,000 photographic records and 1,800 pieces of old photographic equipment.
Another floor has over 300,000 movie posters, playbills and historic advertising material promoting cinema. These date from the first pre-cinematographic shows to films today’s teenagers love to watch.
Hollywood’s golden oldies
Pictures of famous actors and directors hang on the walls. And there are lots of posters. Take a walk down memory lane. Hollywood’s golden oldies include Sunset Boulevard, Citizen Kane and Singin’ in the Rain.
Also on the list is a set sketches from Gone with the Wind and 100 storyboards from Doctor Zhivago.
Up until the 1930’s Turin was the heart of Italy’s movie-making industry. That was before Mussolini moved Italy’s film production to Rome.
Christina Pfeiffer was a guest of Italian Government Tourist Office and Etihad Airways
Looking for a fun time in Europe? Take a Jungfraujoch tour to the top of the world. I guarantee you’ll be impressed!