The UCLA Film & Television Archive is an internationally renowned visual arts organization focused on the preservation, study, and appreciation of film and television, based at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). It holds more than 220,000 film and television titles and 27 million feet of newsreel footage, a collection second only to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. It has more media materials than any other university in the world.
Also a nonprofit exhibition venue, the archive screens over 400 films and videos a year, primarily at the Billy Wilder Theater, located inside the Hammer Museum in Westwood, California. (Formerly, it screened films at the James Bridges Theater on the UCLA campus). The archive is funded by UCLA, public and private interests, and the entertainment industry. It is a member of the International Federation of Film Archives.
The archive's holdings include 35mm collections from Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony/Columbia Pictures, New World Pictures, Orion Pictures, MGM, United Artists, Universal, RKO and Republic Pictures. Independent films. Additional film donations have been made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Film Institute, and the Directors Guild of America as well as such figures including Hal Ashby, Tony Curtis, Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Rock Hudson, Jeff Chandler, Radley Metzger, Richard Conte, Audie Murphy, John McIntire, John Wayne, Fred MacMurray and William Wyler. It also holds the entire Hearst Metrotone News Library. The archive is also known for holding over 300 kinescope prints from the now-defunct DuMont Television Network. The archive also holds restored prints of Paramount Pictures' cartoon library. Much of the Archive's collection is available for onsite research by appointment at the Archive's Research & Study Center (ARSC), located on the UCLA campus in Powell Library. ARSC clients often go to the UCLA Media Lab (Room 270) to view their media.
The Billy Wilder Theater is on the courtyard level of the Hammer Museum. Equipped with the highest standards of film and video projection and sound, the theater, which cost $7.5 million to complete, is one of the few in the country where audiences may watch the entire spectrum of moving images in their original formats: from the earliest silent films requiring variable speed projection to the most current digital cinema and video. Though built first of all as an ideal screening room for the moving image, the theater also provides an intimate and technically advanced showcase for events including artists' lectures, literary readings, musical concerts, and public conversations.
Made possible by a $5 million gift from Audrey L. Wilder and designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, the state-of-the-art, 295-seat Billy Wilder Theater is the home of the archive's cinematheque and of the Hammer's public programs. The theater offers one of the most advanced, comfortable, and intimate cultural venues on the West Coast, where the museum and the archive present their programs.