Detail view of the Mechau 4 projector by AEG (1930); Photo: J.K. Leopold
Detail view of the Mechau 4 projector by AEG (1930); Photo: J.K. Leopold

» Film and cinema technology

The collection documents all technical categories that are relevant for the production and screening of films with a wide variety of devices. Among these are cameras plus accessories, dollies and camera cranes, lighting equipment, recording devices, film trick equipment, developing and printing equipment, editing tables as well as projecting equipment for still and moving images. Both amateur and professional equipment has been collected. Selected examples illustrate the pre-cinema period and the transition period to video technology.

The collection's main focus lies on devices that have been produced or demonstrably used in the geographic area surrounding the German production centres Dresden, Berlin and Leipzig. Further emphasis is placed on the Babelsberg studios during the Ufa and DEFA periods, on home and family cinema as well as on private GDR film producers.

The largest object ist the Welte Cinema Organ from 1928 that has been installed in the museum's cinema.

Parts of the collection are publicly accessible about the common on-line data bank "film technology in museums" of the most important film-historical and technology-historical museums of Germany. The part project Cameras gathers about 1,000 devices which exist in these collections.

A representative part of the technology collection is stored in an accessible depot and can be visited.
Please make an appointment: 49-(0)331-56704-16 / forster@filmmuseum-potsdam.de / Pappelallee 20, 14469 Potsdam / admission: 2.50 Euros.

Considering aspects of conservation well-chosen objects can be lent to exhibitions and film productions. Some devices are in the state ready for service - special conditions are valid for the lending.

The illustrated publication Unsichtbare Schätze der Kinotechnik: 100 Years of Cinematographic Equipment contains information on the collection's most important exhibits and integrates them into a history of film technology.

More information: History of the film technology collection

Contact person: Dr. Ralf Forster
Pre-cinema technology Devices for the generation of illuminated, projected or moving images: peepshow, Laterna magica, Praxinoscope, Mutoscope, projection of "flickers"
Cameras Film recording devices for image and sound, wooden models from about 1900-1920, DEFA studio and hand-held cameras, slow motion and single frame, DEFA Reflex, amateur cameras
Projectors Equipment from 8 to 70 mm: from the Bioscope over the Ernemann Imperator to the UP 700 Pyrcon, mobile equipment: portable, school and home projectors, automatic projection machines
Shooting, sound, processing equipment, special devices Lighting and sound accessories for on-set use, postproduction technology, editing tables and animation stands, machines from the processing laboratory, checking devices for cinema technology
Matrizentrickapparatur Auf den Spuren von Glühwürmchen und Schulgespenst - DEFA-Trickapparatur von Erich Günther wiederhergestellt