The museum foyer in 1982; Photo: K. Bergmann
The museum foyer in 1982; Photo: K. Bergmann

» Museum history

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1968
Potsdam's municipal council is informed about the idea of the establishment of a film museum.
1977
The municipal council decides to establish a film museum in the dilapidated building of the royal stables - the Marstall - in Potsdam's historical city centre. Extensive restoration and reconstruction work begins.
1981
Upon opening, the "Film Museum of the GDR" offers an exhibition on technical equipment and shows films in its cinema.
1983
A permanent exhibition on Ufa and DEFA history is opened on the ground floor of the Marstall. Travelling exhibitions on DEFA films and an ambitious film programme supplement the offers.
1987
The travelling exhibition on director Wolfgang Staudte, first shown in Düsseldorf, is the first inter-German joint venture in the context of the cultural conventions between GDR and FRG.
1990
A GDR regulation requiring the film museum to exclusively collect film and cinema technology becomes invalid. The collections are given their own location, stocks are growing fast. Estates of former DEFA members are acquired. A new staff is running the museum and its departments.
1991
The film museum, so far a branch of the State Palaces und Gardens Potsdam-Sanssouci, becomes a museum of the federal state. The Marstall becomes a cultural centre featuring film festivals, media projects, seminars, conferences, discussions and, of course, attractive exhibitions. Film talks with contemporary witnesses of the DEFA years supplement the collections.
1992
First international exhibition in cooperation with the Institut Français.
1993
The interior of the Marstall is rebuilt according to international museum standards, and the restored Welte Cinema Organ is integrated into the cinema.
1994
The second permanent exhibition "Film City Babelsberg" is opened and the film museum publishes a book on DEFA film history, which is to become a standard work of reference. The redecorated café becomes a cultural meeting point.
1995
The cinema is reopened after reconstruction measures. It has been equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system.
1999
The cinema is equipped with two new Ernemann projectors.
2001
The museum celebrates its 20th anniversary with a party and a book on the technology collection.
2002
Funding that has been granted on the occasion of the anniversary for the first part of the permanent exhibition is released. Work on the exhibition "Babelsberg - Faces of a Film Metropolis" is running at top speed.
2004
On 1 April, the ribbon is cut at the third permanent exhibition "Babelsberg - Faces of a Film Metropolis". In this context, the redecoration of the foyer is carried out by Potsdam artist Steffen Mühle.
2005
On 1 June, the family exhibition "Fairyland Babelsberg" is opened.
2006
In April, the museum celebrates its 25th anniversary. On this occasion, the Federal State of Brandenburg donates financial support to equip the cinema with new seats, lamps, carpets and a beamer by the end of the year.
2007

The cinema has been equipped with new chairs and looks better than ever. All digital equipment is up-to-date. Plans are made to rebuild the Brandenburg State Parliament at the site of the former city castle - to which the Marstall once belonged. The reconstruction of the surrounding streets also requires the replanning of the museum forecourt.
2008

The reconstruction of the streets surrounding the museum begins. In autumn, the new, golden FILMMUSEUM POSTDAM logo is mounted above the museum entrance.
For the first time ever, the museum presents an exhibition on a Studio Babelsberg production - the children's film "Hexe Lilli" - before its theatrical release.
2009

October sees the completion of the reconstruction of the streets that accompanies the rebuilding of the Brandenburg State Parliament at the site of the city castle.
The museum forecourt has been redesigned. On the occasion of Sandmann's 50th birthday, the museum presents its 5th Sandmann exhibition in its 28-year history. Once again, visitors pour into the museum.
2011

Prior to the opening of the new permanent exhibition "The Dream Factory - 100 Years of Film in Babelsberg" on 3 November, preparations (which started in 2008) are in full swing.
In May, a state of the art 2K digital cinema projector was installed in the cinema’s screening rooming. From now on, in addition to analog prints, all digital film formats can be brought to the screen.
On 1 July, the museum - an institution of the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture up to this point - is integrated into Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF.