Cannes 2012: Mexico Film Archive Eyes Doubling of Admissions After Renovation

The Cineteca Nacional will re-open in November after a $28 million redevelopment that will expand its number of screens to 10 and archive facilities.

Mexico’s Cineteca Nacional, the country’s state-owned film archive and cinematheque, for the first time unveiled details here on Sunday about its new look and facilities following a year-long €22 million ($28 million) renovation and redevelopment that will expand its number of screens to 10, archive facilities and add latest technology.

VIDEOS: Cannes 2012: THR's Video Diary

The Cineteca, which says it is the largest operation of its kind in the world, will reopen in November and projects that admissions would double from 630,516 in 2011 to 1.2 million in 2013 thanks to the renovation.

The archive, based in Mexico City and dedicated to promoting Mexico's cinematic heritage and offering the best of world cinema for Mexican audiences, will re-open with a rejigged space and bigger archive vaults to house an additional 50,000 reels.

The renovated space will also include a digital restoration laboratory, new screening and projection equipment to show films on new formats and new green areas and restaurants to improve the overall visitor experience.

Mexico is the fifth biggest cinema-going country in the world. The Cineteca has traditionally attracted a younger audience, with visitors' average age coming in at 22.  Its film collection holds more than 15,000 titles. Seven of the country’s film festivals use the Cineteca.

“Film can only be truly alive if people are able to see it and enjoy it, so the investment in our screening facilities is vital to the archive, as well as for art-house and contemporary cinema programming," said Paula Astorga, general director of the Cineteca. "I believe that we are now the biggest cinematheque in the world, and having 10 screens will enable us to welcome more cinema-goers and program an even wider diversity of cinema."

The reopening of the Cineteca will be marked by the 54th annual edition of the Muestra Internacional de Cine, or the International Film Mostra.

To continue film screenings and discussions during the closure for renovation, the Cineteca launched partnerships with 12 venues around Mexico City. The renovation has been funded by the federal government through the National Council for Culture and the Arts of Mexico.

Twitter: @georgszalai