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National Film Theatre relaunch programme revealed

The National Film Theatre will relaunch as BFI Southbank on 1 February 2007, four months behind schedule.

The new entrance to BFI Southbank on Theatre Avenu
The new entrance to BFI Southbank on Theatre Avenue
Inside BFI Southbank
Inside BFI Southbank

The BFI this week announced details of the programme for its new-look venue which will utilise the space previously occupied by the Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI).

From next February the National Film Theatre will be known as BFI Southbank.

Work on the revamp, which will see the cinema's main entrance relocated to Theatre Avenue, the pedestrian boulevard between Waterloo Bridge and the National Theatre, began in January and was originally due to have been completed in time for the London Film Festival this month.

"The BFI has been an integral part of South Bank culture since 1951," says BFI director Amanda Nevill.

"BFI Southbank is the spark to ignite the imagination of visitors and film-makers through the full possibilities that a future landmark film centre could offer."

Ms Nevill told journalists that the NFT's current site has "less than 10 years left" until the maintenance of the cramped site hidden beneath Waterloo Bridge becomes uneconomic.

BFI Southbank artistic director Eddie Berg says that the revamp is all about "renewing cinema's position at the centre of this great cultural campus on the South Bank".

He added that the BFI is "contributing to the renewal and regeneration of the South Bank in particular and our borough, Lambeth, in particular".

Berg also announced the Future Film Institute, a new educational initiative which will provide opportunities for young people from Southwark and Lambeth aged between 16 and 19 to devise and implement their own seasons of events at BFI Southbank.

As well as the three current NFT cinema spaces BFI Southbank will offer a range of new features in the former MOMI space.

The BFI Mediatheque will comprise 14 viewing stations design by David Adjaye which will allow visitors to access hundreds of hours of material from the BFI collection on demand.

A new Gallery will offer a programme of exhibitions of work by artists who work with film, video and new technologies.

The Studio Cinema will be a drop-in space with a rolling programme of archive and contemporary material. It will also be the setting for talks and education events.

A new Filmstore will replace the NFT bookshop which closed several years ago and will offer a range of books and DVDs.

The greatly expanded foyer and circulation area will boast a new cafe and bar with wifi internet access.

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