The front facade of the art deco style NFSA building in Canberra

Canberra experiences


Our Acton home is open daily from 10am to 4pm, nestled between Lake Burley Griffin and the Australian National University, and in walking distance of Canberra’s city centre.

There’s always something to inspire and delight at the NFSA, whether it’s school holidays, date night or just a quiet afternoon to yourself. Catch a cult classic at Arc Cinema, join us for thought-provoking discussions, explore the curious collection of audiovisual artefacts on display in The Library or simply drop in to enjoy a locally roasted coffee in Mediatheque or our sunny heritage courtyard. 

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Arc cinema with audience


Time for a movie? Enjoy cult classics, digital restorations and exciting new releases in our beautiful Art Deco cinema. Our year-round program encompasses iconic, culture-shaping film screenings as well as thought-provoking discussions, live music performances and other events.

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Arc Cinema



A galah with wings raised in flight and head pointing down, close to the camera


Created by Australian artists Leila Jeffreys and Melvin J. Montalban, this contemplative artwork celebrates the awe-inspiring beauty of native cockatoos. Slow-motion visuals play across a triptych of towering screens, transforming the NFSA’s expansive Gallery into a space of wonder and delight.   

Temple invites us to reflect on the wonder of nature and our place within it. 

Open 5 April to 30 June in the Gallery, seven days a week. Admission is free. 

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Drop-in Docos

A black-and-white film showing on the big screen in the NFSA Theatrette.


Every weekend in winter, drop in for free documentaries in the NFSA Theatrette. Four thought-provoking Australian documentaries will show on rotation throughout the season, offering a window into key moments and conversations in our history and culture.  

Screenings commence at 11am and 1.30pm every Saturday and Sunday – drop in at any time throughout the screening. Entry is free and no bookings are required.

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The Library

People looking at items in an exhibition space.


Discover The Library: a celebration of pop culture curiosities. 

Lose yourself in The Library, a treasure box of the NFSA’s most precious, wondrous and whimsical artefacts.

This Art Deco haven has been meticulously restored to its original splendour, from soaring skylight to historic cabinetry. A marvel in itself, The Library is now home to over 280 items drawn from the full expanse of our collection. History, culture and curios collide in the most unexpected ways: soft toys and gadgets nestled between priceless early artefacts. It’s less exhibition than a time capsule, collecting the eclectic souvenirs of our shared cultural experiences. 

Trace technology’s evolution via iconic items such as the flipbook, View-Master, gramophone, boombox and iPod Shuffle. Embark on a nostalgic journey through children's TV classics like Bobo the Clown, Skippy, Romper Room and Fat Cat. Dive into the rich tapestry of music and sound culture, ranging from Dame Nellie Melba to Kylie, Kamahl and Yothu Yindi. And immerse yourself in film culture with artefacts from the newsreel era, amateur filmmaking and Australian classics.

Admission is free: your adventure begins now. Open seven days a week.

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A room with lounge chairs and benches and a large screen on one wall


Step into Mediatheque, a welcoming lounge to gather, relax between events, and enjoy highlights from the NFSA’s audiovisual archives.

Each day of the week brings a unique selection from our extensive collection. Witness the full range and diversity of the NFSA's treasures, allowing you to experience these titles as they were originally broadcast. Formerly the Institute of Anatomy’s 'Histology Room', Mediatheque functions as an anteroom between history and future.

Open seven days a week.


CAFE and Bar

Coffee machine with a cup of long black


The team from Church Neighbourhood Goods are onsite seven days a week, serving specialty coffee from local roaster Redbrick and a range of sweet treats. If you’re joining us for an evening screening, arrive a little earlier and grab a drink from the bar. 

Serving Monday to Friday 8.30am to 3pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 2pm, and open late for NFSA screenings and events – no bookings required.

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Courtyard with pond in the foreground


Our Canberra building is an experience in itself, blending elements of 1920s Art Deco and late-20th century Stripped Classical architecture. The foyer features a stained-glass skylight of a stylised platypus suspended over black marble floors, locally quarried and unique in Canberra. The platypus features symbolically throughout the building alongside other Australian fauna. Learn more about the NFSA's heritage building.

Our 1930s heritage courtyard features beautifully landscaped gardens framed by cloisters, perfect for quiet coffees as well as large-scale events.   


Venue Hire

Our 1930s Art Deco building is an intimate and memorable location for your next event.

All our event spaces are available for hire, with bespoke venue hire packages available to suit your needs.

More about venue hire