The Arromanches 360 Circular Theatre is not what you would call a museum, but it is in itself a unique tourist attraction in Normandy. Visitors stand in the middle of the cinema and watch the film entitled “The Price of Freedom” on nine huge screens arranged in a circle.
The film mixes original footage that was shot in 1944 by war correspondents and compares these images to videos filmed recently of the very same places, now at peace.
Most of the footage is filmed around Pointe du Hoc, Arromanches and Omaha Beach. By making use of the nine circular screens, visitors are put into the shoes of a soldier landing on the beaches during D-Day, whether it be by plane or boat.
A staggering 65,000 stock shots were necessary to make this film. The frame rate has been modified to 25 frames per second to allow a better synchronization of the picture and the sound.
The cinema is located on the Arromanches cliff tops and boasts the most magnificent views of the D-Day beaches. The area is renowned for the two artificial Mulberry harbours that were built by the Allied forces after D-Day.
In 100 days, one Mulberry harbour – known as ‘Port Winston’ – enabled the landing of 400,000 soldiers, a staggering 4 million tons of equipment and 500,000 vehicles. Today, a few dozen ‘Phoenix’ blockships which facilitated the transportation can be seen in Arromanches waters.
The beach in Arromanches was a primary target for the Allies so that they could set up a temporary port for supplies and weapons. It is interesting to note that Arromanches had a history before the Second World War. The strategic positioning of the beach has made it a vital location in defending the country from sea-borne attacks.
Watch the video below for more information on Arromanches and the 360 Circular Theatre!
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