Officially, this museum was created back in 1963 by the famous director Gerhard Lamprecht. Initially, it was rather a scientific institution called German Museum of Film and Television. And only after moving to Potsdamer Platz in one of the buildings of the Sony Center complex, part of its treasures became available for viewing by the general public, and the museum itself has received the status of the German Film Archive since 2006 in addition to the previous name.
From its very foundation, the museum with German meticulousness has been collecting everything related to the history and technology of making films. Now he owns over 13 thousand copies of unique films, starting from the era of silent cinema, rented out for non-commercial purposes to everyone. Its storerooms can put at the disposal of scientists and film experts tens of thousands of scripts, posters, millions of photographs and even a huge collection of entrance tickets to the cinema.
Walking through 13 halls of the museum’s expositions, you can see the whole history of this magical art. It presents a huge variety of everything that was used in filming in the history of cinema, from the first movie cameras to modern digital technology. Many exhibits can be examined closer, and even try yourself as a lighting engineer or operator on existing historical equipment.
Several rooms are designed for updated thematic exhibitions, but there are also permanent ones that are considered landmark for German cinema. They are dedicated to famous filmmakers and their works that brought them worldwide fame, such as Fritz Lang - the film "Metropolis", Robert Wien - the film "Doctor Caligari's Study", Leni Riefenstahl - the film "Olympia".
Separate expositions show the work of Marlene Dietrich, as well as periods of Nazi cinema and post-war cinema. A separate exposition is also devoted to the television part of filmmaking. More to the entertainment part are the exposition with “live” actors with their endless reflections in the mirror hall, and a fascinating exposition dedicated to science fiction and special effects.
In general, the entire tour of the halls of this wonderful museum is surrounded by an exciting game of light and sound, where the constantly coming to life exhibits and its very atmosphere fully correspond to the spirit of the “magic lantern”, now called cinema.