The French Cinematheque is a French private organization (association loi 1901) largely funded by the state. The French Cinematheque missions are preservation, restoration and dissemination of film heritage. With more than 40,000 movies and thousands of documents and objects relating to cinema, it is one of the world’s largest databases on the seventh art. The origin of the Cinematheque goes way back in 1935 when Henri Langlois and Georges Franju which, for years, salvaged old copies of films, and created a film club called the film circle, to show and publicize the works of the past . The following year, September 2, 1936, with financial support of Paul-Auguste Harle, was born the French Cinematheque, which was had for mission under the direction of Henri Langlois, to preserve the films, restore them, to show and give new generations a cinematic education. In addition to the films, the Film Library began to collect everything that had to do with cinema cameras, posters, publications, costumes and even movie sets. On 26 October 1948, a screening room with 60 seats and the first museum of Henri Langlois film were inaugurated on three floors at 7, avenue of Messina, in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. It was in this room that you could meet François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer and Suzanne Schiffman.
On 1 December 1955, the Cinémathèque moved and settled in a new room (260 seats) at 29 rue d’Ulm in the 5th district or as we say 5th arrondissement. In this room Jules Fery reunite the Parisians Film buffs to view film from the French heritage and Foreign films as well thanks to Henri Langlois who also had quiet of collection of B-rated movie for the people to view. On 5 June 1963, the Cinémathèque settled in the hall of the Palais de Chaillot thanks to funds allocated by André Malraux, Minister of Culture, and became linked to the government. June 14, 1972, the inauguration of the first great film museum, the Trocadero. April 2, 1974, Henri Langlois receives an honorary Oscar and a César. He died January 13, 1977. In 1980, a projection room of the French Cinematheque at the Centre Pompidou was inaugurated . Costa-Gavras was appointed president of the Cinematheque in 1981. The 24th of July the roof caught fire at the Palais de Chaillot. Everything was evacuated that night and no loos was reported thank god for that. Now you can find its new location in the old Centre culturel américain au 51, rue de Bercy, in the 12e. October 29, 2002, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, Minister of Culture, announced that the French Cinematheque and the Library of Film (BiFi) are the two institutions should be merge in building 51, rue de Bercy under the name “French Cinémathèque”(La Cinématèque Française). The president of the cinematheque is still Costa-Gavras I think. The French Cinematheque is equipped to project 35mm formats and Digital.