Twenty years in the making, the Swiss National Film Archives – or Cinematheque – on Friday inaugurated a modern new research and archive centre at Penthaz in western Switzerland.
The CHF50-million ($50 million) centre stores 85,000 film titles, or 700,000 reels, as well as 2.5 million photographs, 500,000 posters, 26,000 books, 2,000 rare film cameras, and other valuable film paraphernalia in its deep vaults, which stretch over an area equivalent to the size of three football pitches. The site also houses a 40-seat cinema, a museum area and conference rooms. It employs around 50 people – from film restoration specialists to IT technicians.
“This is one of the most important collections of film treasures in the world. But what is particularly remarkable, is that it constitutes the memory of Swiss cinema,” said Alain Berset, the minister whose portfolio includes culture, at the inauguration.
The International Federation of Film Archives (FAIF) has also described the Swiss collection as one of the ten most important film archives in the world.