See what's screening at Arc cinema on our Events page.

Arc cinema is a 250-seat state-of-the-art screening venue built with careful attention to heritage values and located in our building at Acton, Canberra. It features customised archival-quality projection equipment, brilliant audio and a special pre-screening light and sound show.

Technical specifications

Arc cinema is fitted with cutting-edge 35/16mm changeover projection, using a pair of custom-designed Kinoton projectors chosen for their adaptability as well as for their precision technology. Arc’s Kinotons are amongst a handful of projection systems in Australia capable of screening all manner of historic and contemporary images in a wide range of aspect ratios, with the ability to run silent films at correct speeds.

The innovative sound system can present many different audio formats, from the earliest days of sound on film to state-of-the-art digital audio. The system also supports sound reinforcement for live accompaniment to silent film events.

A state-of-the-art archival film projection system means the NFSA can screen rare prints not only from its own collection but from other libraries and archives around the world, opening up access to films rarely seen in Australia.

Arc is also fully equipped with a variety of video and digital formats, enabling the NFSA to screen video up to high-definition and back to the earliest surviving video works. Arc also has performance lighting and live audio systems for special guest-speaker and live-music events.


Harkness Hall P140
10.12m x 4.4m cinema screen
Moveable masking (side only)
Throw 21.74m

Film projection

2 x Kinoton FP38EC 35/16 mm projectors 35 mm aspect ratios available:
1:1.33 (Full Frame Silent)
1:1.375 (Academy/Standard)
1:1.66 (Wide Screen)
1:1.75 (Wide Screen)
1:1.85 (Wide Screen)
1:2.35 (Anamorphic)
16 mm aspect ratios available:
1:1.375 (Academy/Standard)
1:1.66-1:1.85 (Zoom lens)
1:2.66 (Anamorphic)
35 mm audio formats available: mono tungsten white light
red LED stereo (Dolby A, Dolby SR)
Dolby SRD (Dolby Digital)
35 mm magnetic
16 mm audio formats available:
Panasonic PT-DW-10,000EK native high definition 16× 9 video projector Sources available:
Sony J3 Digi/SP Beta
DVD (2)
HDD (Hard disc drive) Switched through
Kramer VP727

Audio System

Dolby CP650D Digital cinema audio processor
Soundcraft G4 32-channel audio mixing desk Mix positions in bio box and in auditorium centre
24 mic lines
8 tie lines
BSS London Blu Digital signal processing unit