La Cineteca Nacional: 45 years anniversary full of history, cinema and culture

The National Cineteca has become an emblematic place for many chilangos, filmmakers, foreigners, moviegoers and young people. This since it opened its doors on January 17, 1974, exactly 45 years ago.

In 2015, the National Cineteca broke record with an attendance of more than one million people? With this it was reaffirmed as a unique cinematographic and cultural complex of its kind. Photo: Courtesy of CIneteca
In 2015, the National Cineteca broke record with an attendance of more than one million people? With this it was reaffirmed as a unique cinematographic and cultural complex of its kind. Photo: Courtesy of CIneteca

The first screening that took place in the film was the film 'El compadre Mendoza' (1933), by the Mexican director Fernando de Fuentes. Since then, the objective has been to preserve, rescue and conserve the film, iconographic, videographic and documentary collections.

The National Cineteca was built in one of the forums of the Churubusco Studies, located in Calzada de Tlalpan and Río Churubusco. It consisted of two screening rooms open to the public: the Red Room and the Fernando de Fuentes room. The latter was the largest and had a capacity for 590 spectators. There was also an area for periodic exhibitions, a newspaper library, a bookshop, a restaurant and a security vault for the storage of appropriate films with controlled temperature and humidity.

But do not think that everything was love and happiness for the National Cineteca. On March 24, 1982, at exactly 6:45 p.m., a fire destroyed the premises of the premises. Everything was caused by a spark of fire that came out of one of the projection screens. This was extended to the vaults where the cellulose nitrate tapes were stored. The fire lasted about 16 hours, took three lives and about six thousand priceless movies.

The new facilities were inaugurated on January 27, 1984 in Plaza de los Compositores, located on Avenida México-Coyoacán 389. It had four screening rooms.

Currently, the National Cineteca has become one of the most emblematic places in the city if it's about to hang out. Going there does not always mean watching movies; You can also enjoy a good coffee and a rich breakfast at the Eight and a Half Café. You can also go for a drink and enjoy good music on the newly adapted terrace.