The Greek Film Archive springs from the activity of the Athens Cinematography Association that was established in 1950 by the Athens Association of Film Critics. Its historic first screening took place on November 22, 1950 in the hall “Parnassus” with the film Le Corbeau (The Raven), by Henri Clouzot.
With the organization of screenings on a regular bases and the introduction, discussion and analysis of films, a center for film studies, research, documentation and, partly, for technical information was thus created. Moreover, the Association’s intensive effort to find and collect prints of older Greek films and documentaries laid the groundwork for a rudimentary cinematographic archive.
In 1963, under Royal Decree 105/1963, a Foundation by the name “Film Archives of Greece – Greek Film Archive” was established. Founding members of the Film Archive were important personalities from the arts and letters, such as: Mona Mitropoulou, Angelos Prokopiou, Stratis Myrivilis, Ilias Venezis, Eirini Kalkani, Alkis Thrylos, Michalis Kakogiannis, Eleni Vlachou, Nikos Koundouros, Spyros Skouras, Grigoris Grigoriou, Giorgos Zervos, Viktor Michailidis and others. The soul of the institution was the first General Secretary and, later on, President of the Foundation Aglaϊa Mitropoulou, who, cultivating the close and friendly ties she had with the director of the French Cinémathèque, Henri Langlois, managed to obtain for the Athens Cinematography Association a loan of many programmes featuring tributes to directors, schools, national filmmaking, etc.
From its establishment up to this day, the Greek Film Archive has been housed in the Deligiorgis Mansion at 1 Kanari Street in the Kolonaki district of central Athens. In the year 2008, The Greek Film Archive will be moving to a new building housing the cinema “Laϊs”, which is located at the junction of Iera Odos and Megalou Alexandrou Street.