Visit to the Girona Film Museum
Tomàs Mallol Collection


A few days ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Cinema Museum of Girona, joining two great passions for me: cinema and museum. 

For a museum to attract you beyond the interest of a well-presented exhibition, it is necessary to admire the subject matter. And in this case, both conditions were met. Tomàs Mallol’s collection of objects is one of the richest and most curious I have ever seen.

colección Tomás Mallol Museo del Cine de Girona
Entrada Museo del Cine de Girona

The path

The exhibition is divided into three floors, with a tour that can be done in an hour and a half, although you may want to stay longer. It is also highly recommended to connect the audio guide, which embellishes the exhibition with a thousand details surrounding the history of the different cinematographs.

Although the circuit focuses on the earliest origins of image capture until the era of SuperNIC itself (the first version of CinExin in the 80s), we can pleasantly recognize in the tour, the first forms of experimentation with light, finding the seeds of video art, creative projections, stereoscopy and the beginnings of VFX with the first cinematographic tricks.

A perfect example of well-applied digital transformation.

The digital transformation of museum spaces is a great help to tell the lost parts of history, enrich the collection of objects with graphic and informative support, recreate elements through extended reality technologies, and even bring historical characters back to life through combinations of deep fake and artificial intelligence, to name a few examples. 

However, we often fall into the error of overloading the exhibition with audiovisual and interactive effects, which not only do a disservice to the narrative of the story, but also turn the tour into a decontextualized amusement park, where technology takes center stage, taking precedence over the message of the exhibition.

In this case, and although the Girona Film Museum is a classic museum presentation of tangible objects, given the incredible number of models it contains, it is very astute when it comes to austerely introducing interactive and projection elements that support the tour, without audiovisual boasts that tarnish the collection. 

To give an example of best practice in digital transformation, the projections found in the exhibition can be grouped around three factors, all of which are well-founded:

  1. Projected recreations of early light experimentation techniques, such as shadow theater, which has no audiovisual record.
  2. Logistical support: simulating by means of rear projections, the false operation of exposed models. Mostly in the exhibits corresponding to the predecessors of the current projector, such as the Magic Lantern, the Fantascope, the Praxinoscope or the Chronographs. 
  3. Exhibition of the first films created by the Lumiére brothers, as well as the father of VFX, George Meliès, with his famous A Trip to the Moon, among other classic examples.


Retropoyección exposición Linterna Mágica
George Meliès, trucaje cinematográfico

Temporary Exhibitions

As an additional complement to the visit, we found a fourth space on the ground floor, dedicated to temporary exhibitions. In my case there was the exhibition “De Formes Deformes”, a different way of looking at stereoscopy. Personally I did not have time to see this last part, so keep in mind that the closing time of the museum is at 18:30, and to enjoy the two exhibitions you have to calculate calmly two hours.

Exposición temporal De Formes Deformes, Museo del Cine de Girona

End of the road and a wish for the future

With a collection as spectacular as Mallol’s, I would only have further enhanced his merchandising store, where in addition to the classic products of iconic moments in the history of cinema, it would be interesting to offer miniatures of the incredible optical games exhibited, such as the phenakistoscope or the praxinoscope of Émile Reynaud, artifacts that created the illusion of movement through a system of mirrors and rotating discs, showing looping animations through a peephole. A mechanical game that I would have liked to have in pocket size. 

Otherwise, I again recommend a visit to this Museum of Cinema, as well as the city of Girona itself, surprising for the warmth of its cobblestones illuminated with orange light, its colorful houses along the river, and its medieval architecture, used as a setting for fantastic fictions such as the famous Game of Thrones.

Viaje a la luna de George Meliès, Museo del Cine de Girona
Catedral de Girona, escenario Juego de Tronos