Objective. This article examines how film archives and cinematheques should meet the challenge of preserving films in a sector where digitisation is supplanting other forms of preservation media.
Methodology. The article reviews the most important literature on the subject, as well as technical documents, film journalism and corporate publications. It also discusses and assesses the strategies that archives and cinematheques might adopt to meet the challenge.
Results. Cinematheques originated in the 1930s as institutions dedicated to preserving film heritage. Since then, they have had to adapt to the different technological transformations that have taken place in the film industry. The emergence of digital technology is changing the way films are produced, distributed and screened. One of the consequences of this paradigm shift is the progressive replacement of physical film material by digital files. In the face of such developments, the role of film archives and cinematheques in preserving film culture needs to be re-examined.