The Cinemathéque de Toulouse!!

Toulouse is very familiar to me as not only visited as a tourist, and business conferencier, but also as an old University reunion and the home of cousins on wife’s side. Several times over and still very much in our minds for a re visit when possible!  Oh yes , I had left this out of my blog, pity, needs to be in so therefore here is my take on the Cinemathéque de Toulouse!

The Cinémathèque de Toulouse is an institution founded in 1964 by passionate film lovers gathered around Raymond Borde. It is defined by the two fundamental missions that characterize any cinematheque: the conservation and dissemination of cinematographic heritage. It is one of the three main French film archives, and is located at 69, rue du Taur, This building , originally, was located within the grounds of the former Catholic College of Esquile, dating from the 16C. In 1995, during renovation works, the choir of the chapel was rediscovered and, in its baptismal font, This building was also, the venue for the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) in exile (during the Spanish Civil War), but also the former hall of Ciné-espoir and the former Théâtre du Taur.


Before becoming an association, the Cinémathèque de Toulouse was called “Friends of La Cinémathèque française”. After ten years of collecting, Raymond Borde decided in 1964, with the team of film lovers he had united around his project, to give a legal form to his initiative: he created the Cinémathèque de Toulouse on February 12, 1964, At the same time, the Cinémathèque de Toulouse began collecting 16 mm films with donations from members of UFOLEIS (federation of Cine-Clubs of the French League for Education and Permanent Education).


In 1970 and 1971, the Cinémathèque de Toulouse acquired two permanent sites: a storage building in Vernet for films, and a former primary school in Faubourg Bonnefoy, for administration, the library, posters and photos. These are the first official premises of the Cinémathèque de Toulouse. The screenings take place in the Montaigne room of the CRDP until 1996, The Cinémathèque de Toulouse then develops a whole network of partnerships and collaborations, The increase in the collections of the Cinémathèque de Toulouse requires new premises and leads to a rethinking of its functions, particularly in terms of distribution. It is then moved to 69, rue du Taur on the proposal of the city/town hall of Toulouse. This installation also brings it closer to the ABC cinema, the city’s first art house. The Vernet and Bonnefoy premises are proving unsuitable for the conservation of the collections: they no longer meet security or archive management standards. Thus, the project to create the conservation center in Balma, on the outskirts of Toulouse, was launched.

Inaugurated in January 2004, this center in Balma, hosts within its walls the film (reels) and non-film (posters, photos, advertising documents, archives, etc.) collections of the Cinémathèque de Toulouse. An active conservation policy has been implemented there, including the cataloging and treatment of the collections.The film collection of approximately 50,000 copies , covers all genres, nationalities and eras. First collection of cinema posters in France with its 90,000 documents, dating from 1908 to the present day, the collection is mainly made up of French posters but also contains many German, Polish, Cuban and Italian posters. The photographs with more than 550,000 shots including photographs of filming, set, promotion and personalities , mainly concern French cinema and American cinema. The preserved archives are distributed among fifty collections of filmmakers, journalists, film clubs, film enthusiasts, cinema operators and even production companies covering the history of cinema from 1910 to the present day The scenario collection consisting of more than 2,500 documents , includes dialogue continuities, cut-outs, synopses, project presentations, etc. from the 1930s. Other sets of documents are kept by the Cinémathèque de Toulouse: advertising documents, drawings, costumes, pre-cinema objects (magic lanterns, pre-cinema plates, praxinoscopes, etc.) and apparatus.

The library of the Cinémathèque preserves and makes available to the public 15,000 works, more than 1,500 titles of French and foreign periodicals, 1,500 titles of films on DVD and around 70,000 press files (groups of film review articles of the general press). Periodicals include French and foreign publications. The library includes a large collection of narrated films, popular journals from the 1920s to the 1970s, corporate journals, fanzines, and more. The oldest periodical issue dates from 1907. Since 2015, the library has also offered an access station to the archives of the National Audiovisual Institute. The catalog of books, periodicals and non-film collections (posters, photos, etc.), Ciné-Ressources, is available online.

The official Cinemathéque de Toulouse

The Toulouse tourist office on the Cinemathéque:

There you go folks, another dandy off the beaten path in the beautiful pink city of Toulouse. I say again ,one of my favorite cities in France,and  that my dear readers is saying a lot. Hope you enjoy the Cinemathéque de Toulouse as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

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