National Film & Sound Archive, Canberra

Costumes from Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, on display at the National Film & Sound Archive.
Costumes from Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, on display at the National Film & Sound Archive.

One of Canberra’s hidden gems

The National Film and Sound Archive has an ongoing program of special events, talks, films and exhibitions and a daily screening program focusing on the theme of ‘Identity’. This program shows films depicting the birth and development of our national identity and what it means to be Australian.

Originally the Australian Institute of Anatomy, the Art Deco style building dates from the 1930s and includes an exhibition covering the history of Australian cinema and television, with costumes, sets, artefacts, photographs, posters, publicity items, scripts, props, memorabilia and vintage equipment. It also has two cinemas including the stylish Arc Cinema with a regular program of Australian classic and cult movies. 

This is one of our very favourite places in Canberra. I was fascinated by the fact that the first Australian in Hollywood was a guy called J.P McGowan, a veteran of the Boer War who made over 200 films and gave John Wayne one of his first starring roles. As Michael Caine would say, “not many people know that”. And I would say that not enough people know about the National Film and Sound Archive.

If you go:

National Film & Sound Archive
McCoy Circuit, Acton
Canberra ACT 2601
Tel: +61 (0)2 6248 2000

Explore local itineraries via the links below

Canberra Feast of Festivals … Join the year-round fun
Canberra for Culture Vultures … Home to Australia’s main museums and galleries
Canberra’s Art, Design and Craft … Watch artists in action
Canberra for Families … There’s no such thing as being bored with these top things to see and do
Canberra’s Family Dining Scene … Top choices for hungry appetites
Canberra’s Indoor Family Activities … Young imaginations run free
Canberra’s Outdoor Family Adventures … Recreational paradise for big and little kids alike
The Australian Story in Canberra … A city that reflects the national journey

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