For lovers of old cinema, there is one place in Tirana where I had the possibility of discovering wonderful collections of the Albanian cinema which was flourishing during the communist regime and was considered a powerful propaganda tool to establish the brand of Albanian socialist realism.
The Albanian Central State’s Film Archive (AQSHF is the acronym in Albanian) is the official name of this heritage institution that holds and preserves the country’s history through films. After booking a visit through the official email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) the dedicated staff guided me and my group through an adventure among 35mm film reels piled up on metal archive shelves, hundreds of original movie posters (most of them displaying amazingly beautiful handmade designs by Albanian artists, albums and files of backstage photographs and film stills), the library books and periodicals and, of course, the museum of old film projectors and movie cameras. Our adventure ended up with a screening of a 35mm film at the warm and cozy cinema inside the premises of AQSHF. Visitors are thus welcome as a group, but alone as well.
The best is yet to come, because the Archive has planned screening seasons, where every Friday evening they project classic 35mm films with English subtitles from the program of the Archive’s Kinemateka,
The Film Archive is located in the Kinostudio area; the whole place is worth visiting. You can easily go there by bus. From the center of Tirana, it’s only a 20 minutes ride.