Visit the film archive

Visits are currently suspended due to the renovation of the building. We will soon be welcoming you to a more beautiful environment than ever!

During our archive tour, which is open to groups, visitors can gain an insight into the world of Hungarian films, the behind-the-scenes secrets and curiosities of film production and preservation.

In the film storerooms we keep around 67,000 prints and 260,000 reels, the majority 35 mm and 16 mm film, from the earliest days of silent movies to the present day. Our staff of professionals work on preserving this material, restoring and digitizing it, processing its content and making it available. The guide relates how, from where and when the Film Archive stock increased from the date of its foundation (1957) to today, as well as how films kept here are acquired, cared for, stored, restored and categorized.    

Following introductions to the history of the Archives and film, technical matters are presented: visitors can see and try for themselves old movie cameras and projector equipment, and then in several workrooms learn about the technical and physical characteristics of filmstrip as the physical storage medium. The skills of the cutting table are revealed, as well as how to spot when nitrate-base stock begins to disintegrate. 

In the tour, film equipment is presented, including for example a Debrie camera, which was the most popular film recording device from 1931 to the 1970s. The Debrie camera was used to film such greats as Hyppolit, the Butler (1931), Ludas Matyi (Mattie the Gooseboy, 1949) and Álmodozások kora (The Age of Daydreaming, 1964).

Next is the studio, meeting point for analogue and digital techniques. This place links past with present and future, providing the opportunity to rescue cinematic information on different storage media. Visitors also see the projection room and the basics of how to operate projectors, which are slowly becoming museum pieces due to the switchover to digital.

There is also a chance to view the special collections of the Archive (photo and poster collections, national specialist library): researchers have access to nearly 27 000 film posters, 350 000 film-related werkphotos, around 20 000 volumes, 3000 manuscripts, 3000 volumes of periodicals, 4000 screenplays, 34 film periodicals and foreign film publications. At the end, we invite groups to watch selected thematic screenings in our projection room, featuring a few of the mass of films stored in the Archive.

Tours are arranged between 9 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday, maximum group size: 15 persons (we can arrange several tours of our collection for larger groups). Each tour takes approximately 2 hours. Appointments must be made by e-mail minimum two weeks prior to visit.