Housed in the Palace of Fine Arts complex, the Belgian Royal Cinematheque was founded in 1938, at the instigation of André Thirifays, Pierre Vermeylen and Henri Storck. Renamed “CINEMATEK” in 2009, following significant renovation works, the institution is geared towards both of the country’s linguistic communities, offering one of the largest collections in the world, with 145,000 film elements representing 70,000 titles, including documentaries, drama, short and full-length films. Each year, 2,000 copies are added to the collection. It also contains a library, a veritable goldmine for anyone conducting research with a scientific, historical or design focus.
CINEMATEK’s new design was conceived by the Ghent-based firm Robberecht & Daem. The building has two theatres (the Ledoux theatre with 117 seats and the small Plateau theatre with 29 seats) where around forty films are screened every week, most of them from the cinematheque’s collections. The exhibition space presents a collection of objects connected with the invention of cinema.