The Cineteca Nacional is one of the Mexico City’s great treasures. Run by the Federal Secretary of Culture, it’s dedicated to the preservation, cataloging, and exhibition of Mexican and World Film. It’s a fantastic place to go to the movies.
For international visitors, all of the films screened, except some in Spanish, are sub-titled in Spanish, too. But for English-only audiences, that still means a tremendous number of English-language films can be enjoyed here. The cartelera, i.e.; the slate of daily films being screened, nearly always includes something that can be enjoyed by international visitors too.
The Cineteca Nacional began a part of the National University (UNAM) way back in the 1940s. That’s really at the beginning of Mexican Cinema’s Golden Age. In 1974, it was given it’s own space at the National Center for the Arts (CENART) on Río Churubusco. Most of those facilities were destroyed in a fire in 1982.
The center we see today opened in 1984, with four theaters. Ten years later, vaults to hold the national film collection were added to the site.
In 2012, the Cineteca Nacional del Siglo XXI re-opened, now with ten theaters and a giant outdoor screening theater. The remodeling included a digital restoration laboratory, an expanded documentation center, a video library, restaurants, an exhibition gallery, and a bookshop. It also completed what has
Most Mexico City residents still assume the Cineteca Nacional is in Coyoacán. Metro Coyoacán, (also not in Coyoacán) is just about an 11-minute walk away. Both of these facts make the Cineteca exceptionally convenient to movie-goers from all over the City. Every year, more than a million people show up for screenings. There’s always something cool being shown.