Imagine moving along the cogs within giant machinery like Charlie Chaplin in "Modern Times", or tumbling inside a cabin teetering on the edge of a cliff as he did in "Gold Rush".

That will be possible when an ambitious, immersive museum showcasing the life and works of the ground-breaking filmmaker opens in Switzerland on Sunday.

Source: AFP

Chaplin's World, 15 years in the planning, will premiere in the picturesque village of Corsier-sur-Vevey on Lake Geneva one day after what would have been the British screen legend's 127th birthday.

"He wanted people to remember him. That's why he did the films and he did it in such a perfectionist way," said Chaplin's 62-year-old son Eugene, adding: "I think he would be pleased."

The museum is set on the vast estate of Manoir de Ban, about 26 kilometres (16 miles) from Lausanne, where Chaplin spent the last 25 years of his life until his death in 1977 at age 88.

He had moved to Switzerland after being barred from the United States in the 1950s over suspicions that he had communist sympathies, at the height of paranoia about Soviet infiltration.

Source: AFP

On the Swiss Riviera overlooking the lake with a view of the Alps in the distance, the large manor where Chaplin lived with his wife Oona and their eight children forms half of the museum, retracing the filmmaker's private life.

'Like Downton Abbey'

Chaplin's 70-year-old son Michael recalled what it was like living in the mansion, with around a dozen servants.

"It was like Downton Abbey, on a reduced level. For a child it was wonderful," he said, recalling all the great hiding places.

Charlie Chaplin | Source: File photo/AFP

A separate building has been built nearby as a large mock-up of a Hollywood studio dedicated to Chaplin's on-screen work which began around 1914.

Visitors can also catch a glimpse of the artist's humble beginnings in London and his spectacular rise to become one of the biggest, most influential movie legends in Hollywood history.

With clips from his iconic films flickering from a multitude of screens, visitors can walk down "Easy Street", visit the barber shop from "The Great Dictator" and the restaurant where he ate his shoe in "The Immigrant".

"What really touched me is how they managed to make his films come alive again by inserting clips into decors," Michael Chaplin said, recalling how his father "was always in movement, and that part of the museum is in total movement, which is beautiful."

Chaplin's World is also dotted with more than 30 wax figures created by the Grevin wax museum in Paris.