Cinémathèque Française (Paris, France)
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Part theater, part research facility, Cinémathèque Française's is home to one of the world's largest film archives, plus an enormous collection of film-related documents and objects. Many of the best-known directors to emerge from the French New Wave – François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Jacques Rivette, and Claude Chabrol among them – have credited Cinémathèque Française as being part of their “film school."

Why It Stands Out: The venue's current space in Paris' 12th arrondissement is not its original location, but it is its most striking, nestled into a postmodern building designed by Frank Gehry. It's tough to match those kind of visuals, but this theater manages to do it.