Son of a shoe manufacturer, Georges Méliès decided to devote himself to magic. In 1888, he used his share of the inheritance to buy the Robert-Houdin Theater, Boulevard des Italiens, where his fairy-tale shows drew crowds. Seven years later, dazzled by the animated image of the Lumière brothers, he launches into a new art form, cinema. His thirst for enchantment led him to invent special effects. But the evolution of the public's taste and the passage of the cinema to the industrial era put away his dream machine. Forgotten, he ends up running a toy store in the Montparnasse train station. In 1923, in a fit of despair, he destroyed the negatives of his films. Since then, film buffs all over the world have found and restored reels.