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Spanish Film Archive

History

Film Library

Film Library

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The Spanish Film Library was created by Ministerial Order on 13 February 1953. Since 1956 it has been a member of the International Film Archives Federation.

When the Spanish Film Library was created, most of the films from the silent movies period had been lost forever. Sadly, this was also true in most countries. The work of the film library was to prove essential for the retrieval and conservation of enough elements to at least be aware of and understand the history of the aforementioned period. The creation of the Spanish Film Library was to coincide, in this country, with the shift from cellulose-nitrate film - the first plastic material used to print films - to cellulose triacetate, a much more stable and safer support.

Since 1964, it has been mandatory in Spain to supply the Spanish Film Library with a copy of any film that has received «any help from official Bodies, in the form of credits, direct protection, or any other form included in the provisions regulating the protection of national cinema» (Decree 495, of 20 February 1964).

Thanks to the retrieval and restoration activities carried out by the Spanish Film Library, it is possible today to watch films predating the implementation of the safer supports. Even today, films that were considered lost forever are being retrieved.

Projection rooms

Find projection rooms
Period Projection room
February to July 1963 Auditorium of the National Welfare Institute
November 1963 to June 1964 Auditorium of the National Institute for Industry
November 1964 to June 1965 Barceló Cinema
November 1965 to June 1967 Beatriz Theatre
January to June 1971 Auditorium of the Ministry of Information and Tourism
April 1972 to May 1973 California Cinema
November 1973 to June 1974 Infantas Cinema
October 1974 to June 1975 Dúplex Cinema
November 1975 to January 1977 Covadonga Cinema
January to June 1977 Covadonga Cinema
Film Library Headquarters
Spanish Contemporary Art Museum
June to August 1977 Centro Cultural de la Villa de Madrid
October 1977 to June 1978 Covadonga Cinema
Spanish Contemporary Art Museum
October 1978 to November 1981 Príncipe Pío
Cinema Spanish Contemporary Art Museum
November 1981 to February 1982 Círculo de Bellas Artes
February 1982 to June 1984 Círculo de Bellas Artes
Spanish Contemporary Art Museum
March 1985 to February 1989 Sala Torre de Madrid 1
Reina Sofía Art Centre
March 1989 to present Doré Cinema

Directors of the Spanish Film Library

The different directors of the Spanish Film Library throughout its history, in chronological order:

  • Carlos F. Cuenca
    Director from 13 February 1953 to December 1970. Chairman from 11 December 1970 until his death in 1977.
  • Luis G. Berlanga
    Chairman from 1 January 1979 to 31 December 1982.
  • Florentino Soria
    Director from 17 November 1970 to 23 March 1984.
  • Juan Antonio Pérez Millán
    Director from 6 June 1984 to 5 November 1986.
  • Miguel Marías
    Director from 5 November 1986 to 22 December 1988.
  • José María Prado
    Director from 15 July 1989 to present.

Palacio de Perales

Palacio de Perales

Palacio de Perales

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Declared a monument of national interest in 1995, the Palacio de Perales was built at the beginning of the 18th century by architect Pedro de Ribera, considered the last representative of «authentic Madrid Baroque», and responsible for many important civil and religious buildings in the Spanish capital. Part of the National Heritage since the early 1920s, the Palacio de Perales was attached in 1977 to the then Ministry of Information and Tourism, and became home to the National Periodicals Library. In 1997 the building was passed to the Film and Audio-visual Arts Institute and became the new headquarters of the Spanish Film Library.




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