Old Lyon, Miniatures, and Movies

Vieux-Lyon (old Lyon) happens to be another UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of Renaissance buildings, courtyards, and cobblestone streets.  On our way to the Musée de Miniatures et Cinéma, we stopped into the Cathédrale St-Jean, which was built between the 12th and 15th centuries.  We all were impressed by the height of the arches and the huge wooden doors!

There are two parts to the Musée de Miniatures et Cinéma — the cinema part includes props and costumes and special effects information from more than 400 movies and the miniature section includes more than 100 scenes that are unbelievably realistic despite their size (typically 1/12).

The museum is situated on 5 floors of a 16th century building called the “Maison des Avocats” (Lawyers’ House).  We followed along the signs leading you from room to room and floor to floor, starting with the cinema part.

Here’s L in front of Harry Potter’s wand and his letter from Hogwarts!

Below is the Grinch mask worn by Jim Carrey, followed by Christopher Reeves suit and the harness used to help him fly in the 1978 version of Superman!

L standing in front of The Thing and next to it are mask from The Terminator movies.

Here are some other prosthetic masks…one friendly (Mrs. Doubtfire), the other not so friendly. :/


Recognize any of these?

In addition to preserving and displaying the masks and other props used in movies, there are workshops where new props are created and old ones are repaired in order to preserve them.  Below is C3PO peeking at us through a door and in the workshop, there is a tiny version of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow used for one of the special effects sequences as well as an alien from one of the Men in Black movies.

THE predator from Predator, THE alien from Alien, an alien from Mars Attacks, and a dinosaur from Jurassic Park.


We’ll end the cinema section with some cute props — an Ewok mask from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Winter from Dolphin Tale!


Next was the miniature displays (most were created to a 1/12th scale). The details are amazing!  I took the photos to show how in some of them if you didn’t realize they were miniatures, you’d think they were pictures of a restaurant or a house or a grocery store.  See what you think! 🙂

Here are a woodworker’s shop, a bathroom, and a subway car!

They just fascinate me!  Below are some specific things — shoes, a chess game, and a ballerina tutu.

The final room was a special exhibit about the animated movie “Ma Vie de Courgette.” We were excited because the kids and I saw the movie while we were in Annecy this fall!  It was so fun to see all the little clay figures we’d seen on screen and learn about the process for creating and animating them!






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