Features — 20 July 2011 » Written by
Cinema dei Piccoli: the world’s smallest movie theater

You know it’s a slow week when I start posting past vacation photos.  I was in Rome back in the summer of 2009, my main points of interest, aside from the obvious, being this theater and Dario Argento’s museum/gift shop (I’m sure photos from that will be posted here before the summer is through).  It’s called the Cinema dei Piccoli and is also known to locals as the Mickey Mouse Theater.  Here’s the Guinness World Records description of the “Smallest Purpose-built Cinema in Operation”:

The Cinema dei Piccoli was built by Alfredo Annibali (Italy) in 1934 in the park of Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy and today covers an area of 71.52 m² (769.83 ft²).  Originally called the Topolino Cinema (after Mickey Mouse), the cinema used a Path-Baby 9.5 mm movie projector, bed sheets for the screen and played 78’s for background music.  Restored in 1991, the cinema has 63 seats, a 5 x 2.5 m (16.4 x 8,2 ft) screen, stereo sound and air-conditioning.

Disney’s Earth and The Tale of Despereaux were playing when I was there, but the theater was unfortunately closed upon my arrival (I never got used to the tendency of Italian business owners to lock their doors at seemingly random times of day).  A cute building in any case.

Official site.

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About Author

Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of Cinedelphia.com whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He's served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.

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