Sunday, June 28, 2009

Culpeper Packard Campus Theater

Culpeper is home to the Library of Congress Art Deco-style 206 seat Packard Campus theater that showcases classic American films, all of which have been named to the National Film Registry. Currently there are three shows a week: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm., and admission is free. One program a month is a silent film presented with live musical accompaniment (piano or theatre organ).

To reserve a seat call 540-827-1079 x79994 or 202-707-9994 no earlier than one week prior to the screening you plan to attend. Directions are provided on either phone line. The current schedule may be found at:
The reservation phone line is open Mon-Fri 9-4 (closed holidays). Reservations for Saturday screenings may be made on the Friday of the previous week. The facility is approximately 70 miles west of Washington, DC.

Packard Campus audiences are treated to cinematic delights in a handsome theater with superlative sound, state-of-the-art film projection, and comfortable seating (you won’t remember when you last had so much leg room in a movie house). The state-of-the-art projection booth is capable of showing everything from nitrate film to modern digital cinema.

Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center is a 45 acre state-of-the-art facility where the Library of Congress acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts, and sound recordings. The preservation facilities are not open to the general public for tours.

The exacting techniques of proper storage take place in the Collections Building and the Nitrate Film Storage Building. Both areas are underground and climate controlled, but whereas the underground bunker that became the Collections Building had to be completely gutted before being reconfigured, the Nitrate Film Building was built from scratch and has specially designed blast-proof vaults for storing the unstable nitrate film used for motion pictures before 1953 (cellulose nitrate film is flammable and highly explosive). Both buildings are well suited for the low-temperature, low-humidity storage that is necessary for long-term preservation.

Trivia: The Packard Campus Collections Building occupies the 1960s era decommissioned underground bunker site of the Federal Reserve that once warehoused $3 billion in U.S. currency to be used to replenish public supplies in the event of a nuclear disaster.

Click on link for a detailed article about the facility:

Click on photo to enlarge: