In short, the museum’s itinerary offers a historical excursus of the invention of Cinema, of its technical evolution, of its stylistic and formal developments.
The room on the ground floor, 'Lights and shadows', contains a collection of projectors and lamps, mostly of French origin, built between 1915 and 1964.
In the room on the upper floor it contains the discoveries that preceded the first film projection of the Lumière brothers, which took place in Paris on 28 December 1895.
On the same floor there is also an animated installation by the French sculptor Patrice Ferrasse. Created specifically for this museum, it is a sylloge, an anthological and affectionate memory of sometimes shaky experiments,that were profused on movement and moving image phenomena.
The itinerary continues with some screens presenting, through the 'History of images', the attempts that man, to follow his illusion of eternity, has accomplished and repeated in every age to reproduce moving images.
To follow there is a passage named 'From creation to cloning', in which some optical machines and instruments that were a technical prelude of the Cinema art (praxinoscope, taumatropium, kinetoscope) are on display.
The 'Gallery of Portraits' offers a series of plasma screens that broadcast interviews with Journalist Vincenzo Mollica, Actress Claudia Cardinale and some film directors (Lina Wertmuller, Carlo Lizzani, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani). The theme of the reflections is the relationship with Sicily, intertwined with the memory of the films filmed in Catania.
On the walls, there are photos taken on sets during the filming of films that are deeply connected to Sicilian sites and to contemporary Sicilian literature: they are films by Rossellini, Visconti, Bolognini, Antonioni, Germi, Rosi. Some of them come from the Photographic Archive of the National School of Cinema-National Film Library in Rome.
In a small cinema hall called “Sala Paradiso” a short film is projected every 15 minutes in a small cinema hall called Sala Paradiso. It consists of a montage of some famous film images and it is a nostalgic and affectionate homage to shots, gazes and fragments that have become part of the Western countries’ cultural heritage.
There are some shots from the following films: 2001 A space Odyssey, 1968, Stanley Kubrick; The arrival of a train at La Ciotat station, 1896, Louis Lumière; Journey to the moon, 1902, Georges Méliès; Blade runner, 1982, Ridley Scott; King Kong, 1933, Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Shoedsack; The matrix, 1999, Andy and Larry Wachowski; Superman III, 1983, Richard Lester; An American werewolf in London, 1981, John Landis; Mary Poppins, 1964, Robert Stevenson; Stagecoach, 1939, John Ford; Apocalypse now, 1979, Francis Ford Coppola; Ben Hur, 1959, William Wyler; Intolerance, 1916, David Work Griffith; Braveheart, 1995, Mel Gibson; Totò a colori, 1952, Steno; Singing in the rain, 1952, Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly; Moulin Rouge, 2001, Baz Luhrman; Some like it hot, 1959, William Wyler; Fiddler on the roof, 1971, Norman Jewison; 8½, 1963, Federico Fellini; The Rice-Irvine Kiss from “The widow Jones”, 1896, Thomas Alva Edison; Sunrise, 1927, Friederich Wilhelm Murnau; Casablanca, 1942, Michael Curtiz; The rose tattoo, 1955, Daniel Mann; The son of the sheik, 1926, George Fitzmaurice; Livia, 1954, Luchino Visconti; Gone with the wind, 1939, Victor Fleming; Snow White and the seven dwarfs, 1937, David Hand; E. T. the extra-terrestrial, 1982, Steven Spielberg; Yesterday, today and tomorrow, 1963, Vittorio De Sica; The purple rose of Cairo, 1985, Woody Allen.
Then, the itinerary of the Cinema Museum takes visitors to its most exciting section, consisting of the 'Cinema House', a reconstruction of an apartment, with rooms and spaces dedicated to the cult of the celluloid world. In the rooms of this house, the furnishings incorporate screens showing a succession of film shots. Although the 'Cinema House' looks realistic, its atmosphere is strange, abstract and metaphysical.
The visitor finds himself immersed in an engaging and playful atmosphere. He walks across a 'Courtyard', which faithfully reproduces the one of a period building and enters a 'dining room' and a 'kitchen', where some hidden screen inside crockery and household appliances show food-themed film shots.
The film shots in the 'Kitchen' are taken from: Kitchen, 1994, Yoshimitsu Morita; The cook, the thief, his wife and lover, 1989, Peter Greenaway; The taking of power by Louis XIV, 1966, Roberto Rossellini; And the ship sails on, 1983, Federico Fellini; Gold fever, 1925, Charlie Chaplin; The sleeper, 1973, Woody Allen; Big night, 1996, S. Tucci and C. Scott; Bianca, 1984, Nanni Moretti; Dillinger is dead, 1969, Marco Ferreri; Campo de 'Fiori, 1943, Mario Bonnard; Goodfellas, 1990, Martin Scorsese; A modern history: the conjugal bed, 1963, Marco Ferreri; Eat, drink, man, woman, 1994, Ang Lee; Me and Annie, 1977, Woody Allen; Big deal on Madonna Street, 1958, Mario Monicelli; The postman always rings twice, 1981, Bob Rafelson; An American in Rome, 1954, Steno; Who’s that knocking at my door ?, 1969, Martin Scorsese; Angelo, 1937, Ernst Lubitsch.
The dishes of the table set in the 'Dining Room' are small screens showing sequences of convivial settings taken from: Miseria e nobiltà, 1954, Mario Mattoli; Don Juan, 1979, Joseph Losey; Gold fever, 1925, Charlie Chaplin; Vatel, 2000, Roland Joffè; The taking of power by Louis XVI, 1966, Roberto Rossellini; We all loved each other so much, 1974, Ettore Scola; Bicycle thieves, 1948, Vittorio De Sica; Roma, 1972, Federico Fellini; American beauty, 1999, Sam Mendes; The Blues Brothers, 1979, John Landis; Hollywood party, 1968, Blake Edwards; The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie, 1972, Luis Bunuel; The big binge, 1973, Marco Ferreri; Tom Jones, 1963, Tony Richardson; Bianca, 1984, Nanni Moretti; Monty Python: the meaning of Life, 1983, Terry Jones.
Film clips set in meeting places and cafes are broadcast on the 'Bar' videos. The editing of the films has been drawn from: My friends, 1975, Mario Monicelli; La bella di Roma, 1955, Luigi Comencini; Cocktail, 1988, Roger Donaldson; The deer hunter, 1978, Michael Cimino; Saturday night and Sunday morning, 1960, Karel Reisz; The bandit of the casbah, 1936, Julien Duvivier; Irma the sweet, 1963, Billy Wilder; Manhattan, 1979, Woody Allen; Casablanca, 1942, Michael Curtiz;The Shining, 1980, Stanley Kubrick; The lost weekend, 1945, Billy Wilder; Johnny Guitar, 1954, Nicholas Ray; Shane, 1953, George Stevens; Fat city, 1972, John Huston; A Clockwork orange, 1971, Stanley Kubrick; Easy rider, 1969, Dennis Hopper; Rio Bravo, 1969, Howard Hawks; A fistful of dollars, 1965, Sergio Leone; Dear diary, 1993, Nanni Moretti.
The 'Library' screen shows film clips inspired by literature and civilization of the spoken and written text, such as: Fahrenheit 451, 1966, François Truffaut; The sky above Berlin, 1987, Wim Wenders; The name of the rose, 1986, Jean-Jacques Annaud; The ninth door, 1999, Roman Polanski; The big sleep, 1946, Howard Hawks; 84 Charing Cross road, 1987, David Jones; Frankenstein Junior, 1974, Mel Brooks; Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone, 2001, Chris Columbus; The mysterious enchanter, 1996, Pupi Avati; Prospero’s books, 1991, Peter Greenaway.
The Library also contains a collection of cine cameras, cameras and projectors from the 1920s, 30s, 60s and 70s.
Film shots about society sets, receptions, dances, bourgeois conversations, are presented in the 'Living Room', a provocatively kitsch room with a large screen-frame that shows shots taken from:Fort Apache, 1948, John Ford; Desperate trails, 1956, John Ford; Titanic, 1997, James Cameron; Romeo and Juliet, 1968, Franco Zeffirelli; West Side story, 1961, Robert Wise; Singing in the rain, 1952, Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly; Some like it hot, 1959, Billy Wilder; An American in Rome, 1954, Steno; Swing time, 1936, George Steven; The leopard, 1963, Luchino Visconti; The Age of innocence, 1993, Martin Scorsese; Madame Bovary, 1991, Claude Chabrol; The sweet life, 1960, Federico Fellini; Amadeus, 1984, Milos Forman; Underground, 1995, Emir Kusturica; The Godfather part III, 1990, Francis Ford Coppola.
The 'Studio' is meant to be a reproduction of F.F. Coppola’s Godfather’s office. On the desk film shots about criminal and secret encounters are shown. This shots are taken from: In the name of the law, 1949, Pietro Germi; Salvatore Giuliano, 1962, Francesco Rosi; One hundred days in Palermo, 1984, Giuseppe Ferrara; The leopard, 1963, Luchino Visconti; Mafioso, 1962, Alberto Lattuada, One hundred steps, 2000, Marco Tullio Giordana; Giovanni Falcone, 1993, Giuseppe Ferrara; The Godfather, 1972, Francis Ford Coppola.
Beside the 'Studio', there is a corridor with a collection of French and Austrian projection lanterns from the late 1800s and a collection of cameras from different ages.
In the 'Bedroom' there is a showing of shots from: Nosferatu the vampyre, 1922, Friederich W. Murnau; Apocalypse now, 1979, Francis Ford Coppola; It happened one night, 1934, Frank Capra; Manhattan, 1979, Woody Allen; Mimi metallurgical wounded in honor, 1972, Lina Wertmuller; Raging Bull, 1980, Martin Scorsese; 8½, 1963, Federico Fellini; The woman next door, 1981, François Truffaut; Bel Antonio, 1960, Mauro Bolognini; Eyes wide shut, 1999, Stanley Kubrick; Gangster story, 1967, Arthur Penn; The Casanova, 1976, Federico Fellini; Divorce Italian style, 1961, Pietro Germi; L’aria del continente, 1938, Gennaro Righelli; Frankenstein Junior, 1974, Mel Brooks.
Scenes of "coquettishness and vanity" and of "sanitary homicides" (F. Confino) are projected from the “Bathroom” monitors with extracts from: The big shave, 1967, Martin Scorsese; Lolita, 1962, Stanley Kubrick; Pulp fiction, 1994, Quentin Tarantino; The great Lebowski, 1997, Joel Coen; Scarface, 1983, Brian De Palma; A hard day’s night, 1963, Richard Lester; Pretty woman, 1990, Garry Marshall; Spartacus, 1960, Stanley Kubrik; Last tango in Paris, 1972 Bernardo Bertolucci; Psyco, 1960 Alfred Hitchcock; The shining, 1980 Stanley Kubrick; What lies beneath, 2000, Robert Zemeckis; The good, the bad and the ugly, 1966, Sergio Leone;Phantom of the paradise, 1974, Brian De Palma.
The 'Garage' screen shows film clips of metropolitan pursuits and stunt car actions . There is an editing of the following films: Bullit, 1968, Peter Yates; The French connection, 1971, William Friedkin; The girl and her trust, 1912, David W. Griffith; Sherlock Jr., 1924, Buster Keaton; GoldenEye, 1995, Martin Campbell; Terminator 2, 1991, James Cameron; The fast and the furious, 2001, Rob Cohen; Ben Hur, 1959, Willy Wyler; Mission Impossible 2, 2000, John Woo;North by Northwest, 1959, Alfred Hitchcock; Point break, 1991, Kathryn Bigelow; The Blues Brothers, 1980, John Landis.
Besides, the whole Museum is enriched by a large collection of vintage movie posters (around 150), many of which are endowed with documentary and historical-artistic value.