If you find yourself in Torino, there’s one place you can’t miss…well even literally since its tower is a major characteristic of the Torino sky-line! It’s the National Cinema Museum, and you’ll find it easily not far from the city center. Located in a building originally constructed to be a synagogue in 1862, you could say that it’s sort of a holy-land for the silver screen. As a practicing member of the religion of pictures and moving pictures, I can promise you it’s worth the visit, no matter your age or degree of devotion. Here’s just a few things about it!The actual tower/structure is called the Mole Antonelliana. It’s spire is 167 meters tall and for a few extra Euros you can take a glass elevator up to the top for a panoramic view of Torino. You’ll also find it on the back of an Italian 2 cent Euro coin.
The experience starts with an interactive area about optics, illusion, shadow-playing, early magic lanterns and other optical toys, and eases into the early stages of experimenting with photographs and making them ‘move’.
The museum is good for all ages, especially because it’s filled with buttons to push and interactive set-like areas (like a giant-sized Hollywood actress’s vanity filled with giant perfume bottles and giant make-up) to sit and watch a wide variety of film clips.
There’s a bunch of different rooms, or ‘chapels’ if you will, with a screen showing clips of films all related in some way (by genre, mostly). A sort of spooky room, complete with the actual coffin used by Bela Legosi in Dracula, which shows horror film clips; a room which is an old western saloon after a bar fight, chairs on their sides, for westerns; a love-scene area with a screen only visible when you lay on a round bed covered in pillows and velvet (parental discretion is advised)…etc etc
A central area on the ground level has two enormous screens with rows of lounge-like cushiony theater chairs where you can relax and watch a montage of film clips, my favourites being the silent film medley and the collection of memorable dance scenes.
There’s about 800 film memorabilia and “props” throughout, including Marilyn Monroe’s bustier, and costumes from Aliens and Star Wars.
There’s about 300,000 movie posters and playbills, from both Italy and all over the world.
You can always have a guided tour which is part of our Torino City Tour.
Admission to the museum is €7 (or €5 for students with ID 25 or under or 65 and over, €2 for children between 6 and 17). It’s an additional fee of €3.50 or €5 for the Panoramic Lift, depending on age or student status.
Opening times: Tue-Sun, 9am-8pm (except Saturdays when it’s open until 11pm); closed Monday.
Take a look here on how to get there…once you’re in Torino, of course