New home, plans for film library

The director of the Greek Film Library, Theodoros Adamopoulos, has pledged to create a library that will be open 24 hours a day, 12 months a year. Finally rid of the restraints imposed upon him by the very nature of the library’s previous premises, at the historical Deligiorgi Mansion on Kanari Street in Kolonaki, Adamopoulos can now embark on more ambitious plans, because within the next two years – barring any more hiccups – the Greek Film Library will finally acquire a new home, in the former Lais cinema at Metaxourgeio. The move, which is essential for the library’s smooth operation, may take an emotional toll on the director, but on a practical level it will mark the beginning of a new era for the national film archive. «Fortunately, everything is going to plan,» he said when asked about how work is progressing on the new building. «Soon, in January, the architects [Nikos Bellavillas and Vasso Trova] will show us their preliminary plans,» Adamopoulos added with satisfaction. International tender Once the plans are submitted, the project will be put out to international tender and it is hoped that a contractor will have been selected by early summer. This would mean that work on the building can begin in the second half of 2005, so that the library will be up and running by December 2006, as was initially planned. The new library, according to the preliminary design, will have two indoor screening theaters, while the current open-air theater on the roof will be refurbished. One of the indoor theaters, with a capacity of 200, will host the library’s big tributes, which it normally organizes in cooperation with other institutions such as the Greek Film Center and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. Educational role A smaller, 60-seat theater will be used to revive the Cine Club, a members-only society of film buffs. This time around, the Cine Club is also set to acquire a more educational and historical character. The new facilities that will be available, such as a library of books on cinema and film artists and a film library, will enhance the Greek Film Library’s educational role significantly. Currently, an ambitious project is under way to put the entirety of the archive’s collection onto CD-ROM. The center’s rich material covers 55 hours of film, 5,000 stills and 100 posters, including documentaries and fictional films as well as unpublished material from the early 20th century.

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