Visit Odessa’s Museum of the Cinema

Filmmaking has come a long way since the mid-1890’s when the French Lumière brothers – Louis Jean and August Marie Louis Nicolas – presented moving pictures to the world and patented a number of processes they developed. Many claim they were not the first to come up with the concept of moving pictures and develop the process of film production, and that may be so, but they were the first to be internationally recognized. Film fans will enjoy a visit to the Museum of the Cinema, based in the premises of the Odessa Film Studio, where the history of filmmaking in Ukraine, and the Soviet Union, is documented and described in great detail. One of the features of the museum is the exploration of the invention of cinema in Ukraine, which took place two years before the Lumière Brothers went public with their invention.

The Museum of the Cinema displays a huge collection of films, books, scripts, and various artifacts relating to cinema in Ukraine. In the collection are rare books, magazines and newspaper clippings, personal items belonging to the various heads of the Odessa Studio, personal items belonging to some of the actors who made films at the Odessa studio, sketches of background scenery, advertising posters, photographs, memoirs, audio tapes, awards, film and sound equipment and more. Film students have been involved in cataloguing this extensive collection, with many including Odessa’s filmmaking history in their studies. In addition to early history, the museum also details more recent developments in cinema and pays tribute to a wide variety of film genres. The guestbook at the museum reveals that interest in filmmaking history is widespread, as visitors from as far afield as Japan, Canada, Israel, the United States, Belgium, Germany, England, France, Italy, Hungary and Poland have left their favorable comments.

The Odessa Film Studio was founded in May 1919 and is located on 7 hectares of ground near the shore of the beautiful Black Sea. It has its own movie theater and it houses the Museum of the Cinema. Certainly the studio and the museum are worth adding to your itinerary when visiting Odessa in Ukraine.