The ARC Cinema

Posted by on Sep 03 2009 | Other

One of the highlights for my trip to the NFSA is to visit the ARC , where I can sit in the dark and enjoy some of Australia’s wonderful cinematic offerings!

Trevor Anderson and Reece Black gave me a wonderful tour of the ARC Cinema and projection booths, including the lens collection they have for the Kineton projectors.  They also showed me a time a time captured video of the building of the cinema. It was fascinating to watch as the seats were built into a already existing space. 

I also got a glimpse of the HVAC system for the theatre.  It is truly remarkable, with a diffused system to allow an even exchange of air throughout the theatre.  This give all patrons the benefit of a comfortable environment, and greatly reduces the noise of  heaters and air conditioners turning on and off throughout the film.

 ARC cinema seats and HVAC

Taken from the NFSA website :

Arc’s projection booth is where the magic begins. The cinema is fitted with cutting-edge 35/16 mm changeover projection, using a pair of custom-designed Kinoton projectors chosen for their adaptability as well as for their precision technology. Arc’s Kinotons are amongst a handful of projection systems in Australia capable of screening all manner of historic and contemporary images in a wide range of aspect ratios, with the ability to run silent films at correct speeds.

Arc’s innovative sound system can present many different audio formats, from the earliest days of sound on film to state-of-the-art digital audio. Sound reinforcement for live accompaniment to silent film is also supported, paving the way for ground-breaking silent cinema events.

Reese Black-Projection 2

Arc’s state-of-the-art archival film projection system means that the NFSA will be able to screen rare prints not only from its own collection but from other libraries and archives around the world, opening up access to films rarely seen in Australia.

To read more about this wonderful venue, and see current film listings,  please visit

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    Deborah Stoiber is the Nitrate Vault Manager at The Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center. She graduated from The L. Jeffrey Selznick School in 1998. After graduation, she spent time at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY working on their 16mm collection.

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