The Cinema Archives of Le Progrès, 1945 - 1978


PostED THE  09.10.2014 AT 10:21aM


Homage to photojournalists of Lyon
Photographs from the collections of Le Progrès

Institut Lumière Park and Hangar du Premier-Film | Free entry


Le Progrès, THE daily newspaper of Lyon and its region, has always sent its photojournalists to cover filming and premieres in Lyon. Françoise Monnet, current head of the cultural entertainment pages, interviewed documentalists in charge of keeping a watchful eye on the treasures.


1Simone Signoret on the set of The Adultress (Thérèse Raquin) by Marcel Carné
in Lyon on the banks of the Rhône River, September 1953.


- When did Le Progrès  begin publishing photos in the publication?
- Aside a few glass plates prior to 1944, we began collecting the newspaper photographs from September 1944 - after the Liberation of Lyon, when Le Progrès was repaired after the eighteen months of its destruction in November 1942- to elude the  censorship by the Vichy government. From the postwar period, there were pictures in the newspaper, taken by professional photographers.

- Where do the cinema photos come from?
- Il s’agit de photos prises lors de reportages à Lyon, par les photographes salariés du Progrès, entre 1945 et 1978. Ce sont essentiellement des photos de tournages et d’avant-premières. A l’époque, les journalistes rédacteurs et des photographes du journal couvraient ces événements, c’est d’ailleurs encore le cas aujourd’hui, et ces photos ont été publiées à ces occasions... et ne l’ont plus été depuis. 

- How are the images archived, sorted, and stored?
- There are 24x36 and 6x6 negatives; it's difficult to ascertain the exact number. We are sure that there are over two million images archived in our former collection. Add to that some 900,000 documents digitized from 1999-2000 and we have three forms of support: negatives, prints and digital format. The photographs were sorted and classified in the order we received them – thus chronologically - by the photographers themselves until the arrival of the first documentalist, Laurent Amiex, in the early 70s. Each report was recorded in a daily log and numbered. The number corresponds to file boxes or negative contact sheets. After awhile, we also classified the photos by theme.

In August 1973, Place des Terreaux, filming The Watchmaker of Saint-Paul (L’Horloger de Saint-Paul)
by Bertrand Tavernier (center) with Philippe Noiret and Jacques Denis.

A relaxed press conference for Pierre Richard and Jane Birkin,
promoting I'm Losing my Temper (La moutarde me monte au nez)
by Claude Zidi at the Comoedia theater.
Lyon, avenue Berthelot, October 1974.


- When did color photographs start appearing in the newspaper?
- Color slides arrived in the 90s, before the color negative replaced it. Today, the newspaper is published exclusively in color.

- How did you go about collecting these cinema photographs?
- In order to showcase this extraordinary collection, unpublished except for on the specific day, we decided, on our own, to make photos albums classified by theme that we regularly post our website: the new school year, the Beaujolais Nouveau, snow, etc. A year ago, on the occasion of the Lumière festival 2013, we decided to post this cinema album. We had to play the detective! Meaning we had to comb through the daily logs of the last 30 years to identify and then pull up the "cinema" articles. It was a very tedious process, especially since the captions were often brief and certain pictures unsigned. It was necessary to investigate to find the missing elements. But at the same time it's so exciting to come across real gems! We then established a selection, based on public interest, beauty and the quality of the image. We are quite satisfied with the result... And very proud to have them on display in a larger format; it gives a second life to these images that we haven't seen since their first publication in the newspaper. That would please Laurent Amieux, who was the first photo documentalist of Le Progrès.

4Louis de Funès signing autographs for film viewers at the Tivoli.
Lyon, rue Childebert, 6 December 1959.

The crowd in front of the Pathé Palace for the screening of King of the Khyber Rifles by Henry King. Lyon, Rue de la République, 15 August 1954


Our thanks to the former photographers, documentalists Pascale Martin, Vincent Bourbotte Julien Iaboni, and to Françoise Monnet.

Progres Logo Expo

Preparing a painted image of the film Carrie by William Wyler for
the façade of a Lyon movie theater in February 1954.




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