The best-attended cinema in France, the Géode presents large-format films on a 1,000 square-metre hemispherical screen.
The Géode is located on the edge of the Parc de la Villette, a 55-hectare park and cultural complex in the north-east of Paris.
In the 18th century, La Villette was an agricultural village on the outskirts of Paris, crossed by the river Ourcq. In 1812 Napoleon built the Canal de l'Ourcq to provide Paris with water, extending it with the Bassin de La Villette (to supply water for the city's fountains). In 1867 Baron Haussmann, Prefect of the Seine département, began building a huge national meat market at La Villette. At its height the Grande Halle handled up to 4,600 head of cattle a day.
The last of the La Villette abattoirs closed in 1974, leaving 55 hectares of wasteland which then became the focus of a vast urban development plan. The initial mission was to create "a place where science and culture can meet, a garden-city, a garden within the city".
The Géode opened on 6 May 1985, almost a year before the Cité des Sciences (opened on 13 March 1986, as Halley's Comet passed overhead).