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  • Writer's pictureThe Screen Room

Would Your Favourite Movies Survive a Nuclear Holocaust?

National Film Registry

Did you know there’s such a thing as the National Film Registry?


Founded in 1988 the “NFR” is a collection of American-made films that have been selected for preservation by the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) based on their “historical, cultural and aesthetic contributions”.


The purpose of the National Film Registry is “to ensure the survival, conservation, and increased public availability of America's film heritage.”


Up to 25 films are added to the registry per year and since 1997 members of the public have been able to nominate up to 50 films a year for consideration.


Among the first 25 films selected for preservation were The Wizard of Oz (1939), Citizen Kane (1941), Casablanca (1942), Gone with the Wind (1952) and Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).


Since then the collection has grown to more than 850 titles ranging from old black and white films from the late 1800s, all the way up to more recent titles like 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Toy Story (1995), Pulp Fiction (1994) and Groundhog Day (1993).



The films are stored at the Library of Congress Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia - a state of the art facility that specialises in audio visual conservation. The building is a decommissioned nuclear bomb-proof Cold War bunker that for 25 years stored billions of dollars of coin and currency for the purpose of re-pumping the economy in the event of a nuclear holocaust.


It has more than 90 miles of shelving, 35 climate controlled vaults and 124 individual vaults for more flammable nitrate film. A lot of restoration also goes on at the facility with highly skilled technicians painstakingly restoring damaged film that would otherwise be lost forever.


So there you go. If there should ever be a nuclear war and you should be “fortunate” enough to survive it, you know where you can go to catch a decent flick.


You can find out if your favourite movies have been selected for preservation by clicking here and scrolling down to the list.

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