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Film reels at the Cinemateca Portuguesa, in Portugal
Main facade of the head office, Bulgarian National Film Archive (Българска Национална Филмотека)

A cinematheque is a typically small motion-picture theater that specializes in historically important, experimental, avant-garde, or art-house films. Often part of a university or private archive, a cinematheque may have only one screen, but larger ones have multiple screens.[1][2]


In 1935 Henri Langlois and Georges Franju founded a film club ("Cercle du cinéma") to show old films from which originated the Cinémathèque Française in 1936.

The idea to archive old films was by no means self-evident at the time. Langlois was able to save many films the companies had intended to throw away. In 1933, the British Film Institute was founded in London. In 1938 Henri Storck, André Thirifays and Pierre Vermeylen founded the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique in Belgium. Also in 1938, the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) was founded in Paris.[3]


The Cinémathèque québécoise, Montreal
North America
United States
South America


Broadway Cinematheque, Yaumatei
Entrance to the new Tel Aviv Cinematheque

Middle East[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ cinematheque at Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  2. ^ cinematheque. Unabridged. Random House, Inc. (accessed March 24, 2015).
  3. ^ [1] Archived December 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Cinémathèque royale de Belgique official site". Cinémathèque royale de Belgique. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Cinémathèque de la Ville de Luxembourg". Cinémathèque de la Ville de Luxembourg. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Cinémathèque Méliès - Les Amis de Georges Méliès". Cinémathèque Méliès.

External links[edit]