Cannes is east of Eden, but the festival here is central to a scheme involving a historic theater.

A non-profit group, the Lights of Eden, has set up donation boxes along the Croisette to preserve and restore what is touted as the oldest movie theater in the world.

L’Eden bowed June 15, 1889, and hosted the first projections of film by the Lumiere brothers. The theater is located in the nearby town of La Ciotat, which is near Marseilles.

Lights of Eden is chaired by Gilles Trarieux-Lumiere, the great-grandson of Louis Lumiere; the org is sponsored by Claudia Cardinale and Daniel Toscan du Plantier.

There is also a support committee, chaired by Bertrand Tavernier, and including Jeanne Moreau, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Micheline Presle and Jacques Perrin, among many others.

The local campaign is tabbed “1 Euro for the Eden.” Residents of La Ciotat have been contributing to a “10 Euros for the Eden” campaign, and the subscription movement will be expanded nationally in July.

Trarieux-Lumiere, Cardinale and Toscan du Plantier will be at a press confab, along with La Ciotat mayor Patrick Bore, May 24 at l’Espace Miramar concerning the fund.