National Archives cinema theatre reopens after 25 years

  • The screening room of the venue, which reopened on Tuesday. Photo: National Archives of Georgia press office., 11 Apr 2018 - 17:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

A new venue will begin to host film enthusiasts in Tbilisi after the restored and renovated cinema theatre of the National Archives of Georgia opened this week for the first time in over 25 years.

A former destination for viewers of thematic screening sessions during the Soviet era, the venue has now reopened as a 140-capacity multi-functional theatre of the archival venue.

It will be used to showcase the rich collection of Georgian films from the past century, found in vaults of the National Archives.

The new theatre will be used to showcase the rich cinema collections of the archive venue. Photo: National Archives of Georgia press office.

Set to host film festivals and retrospectives, the theatre has been equipped with a high-fidelity projection system as well as updated audio and acoustics.

It is now the only cinema in Georgia that allows visuals to be projected through film tape, the archive said.

The cinema hall originally hosted screenings between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, when economic crisis and political turmoil in Georgia meant it could not be maintained. Its space was used for storing archival documents instead.

Its relaunch on Tuesday was marked with a screening of The Argonauts — Kolkhida, one of the first Georgian animated films created in the mid-1930s.

The National Archives is also hosting an exhibition of photographs from Soviet-era filming sets of Georgian films. Photo: National Archives of Georgia press office.

The Archives venue also paid homage to the history of the Georgian cinema by opening a display Georgian Film in Photos.

Open through April 22, the exhibition features photographs of filming sets and behind-the-scenes images for cinema classics made in Georgia over the 20th century.

The National Archives holds the largest collection of documentary films and cinema magazines in Georgia, with over 5,200 films and nearly 3,200 print editions preserved. Its vaults also hold over 100 fiction and nearly 40 animated films.