The Museum of Film Art - the ILUZJON Cinema is almost as old as Filmoteka Narodowa. The first screenings of classical motion pictures were organized in the late 1950s. In spite of numerous address changes Iluzjon has always been the meeting place for cinema lovers, who after a John Wayne western would stay to watch an equally appealing melodrama with Greta Garbo. Iluzjon was first located at Aleje Szucha, later in the Polonia Cinema, in the Pod kopułą Hall and in the Śląsk Cinema.
When, in 1996, the contract for Filmoteka rental of the latter location was cancelled, a demonstration of hundreds of University sudents walked through the Warsaw streets and demanded that the unfortunate decision be recalled. The officials, however, remained inflexible. Since February 1997 we have been hosting our events in the Stolica Cinema on Mokotów.
Over the decades we have organised numerous renowned presentations and festivals, competing every year with the Warsaw festival, and presenting the cinematography of nations. These have included annual meetings with the Italian, British, German, French cinema, the first festivals of European cinema, and last but not least, thousands of films from all over the world screened every day. Iluzjon has hosted numerous distinguished directors, and actors, French New Wave, excellent German filmmakers: Werner Herzog, Ulrika Ottinger and Doris Dörrie, members of the famous Monty Python group, as well as Lindsay Anderson, Alan Parker, Vilgot Sjöman and JanTroell, Ken Russell, Jean-Jacques Beineix, Inna Czurikowa, Anastasia Wertynska and many others. Our guests have also been Polish filmmakers, including: Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi and most recently Marek Koterski.
Almost all large festivals are accompanied by extensive publications presenting the output of European cinema classics. Those, frequently, have been the first comprehensive publications in the Polish language regarding a given topic. Since 2003 the first days of spring at the "Iluzjon" have witnessed the "Celebration of Silent Cinema" - during this unique event silent masterpieces are accompanied by conemporary music performed live.
From the start we have remembered our the youngest audiences. Sunday morning screenings present them with classic films for children.
Everyday we present three films during afternoon screenings. Additionally, a free brochure presents reviews of films in the current programme as well as the achievements of the actors, directors, cinematographers, and composers.
In November 1998 in a readers' poll held by Gazeta Wyborcza our cinema received the title: "MAGIC PLACE"
In April 2001 the Warsaw City Council granted "Iluzjon" Cinema with the distinction of achievement and the medal for Contribution of Merit for Warsaw
We organise requested film screenings for schools, universities, and companies. The theatre can seat 374.