Definition of cinematheque in US English:



  • 1A motion-picture library or archive.

    • ‘From the early 1990s, the director campaigned to create a cinematheque on the site of the museum's car park.’
    • ‘It's dredged up from the imaginary cinematheque of Maddin's own mind.’
    • ‘The National Archives, the National Library and individual cinematheques were doing preservation work, but it was all government-funded.’
  • 2A small movie theater, especially one that shows avant-garde or classic movies.

    • ‘He attends the cinematheque she loved so that he can tell her about the movies he sees.’
    • ‘The program is co-ordinated by Metro Cinema, a not-for-profit cinematheque dedicated to promoting Canadian and international independent film.’
    • ‘After dinner we went back to Fed Square to see A Tale of Springtime screened at cinematheque as part of the Eric Rohmer retrospective that's taking place over the next few weeks.’
    • ‘A daily cinematheque showcases other films Conner selected, and in some cases re-edited, for this exhibition.’
    • ‘I saw the film at the Film Forum, which is a kind of cinematheque with a hip, sophisticated young audience, downtown.’
    • ‘Approximately 3,000 square metres of commercial, retail and function space were proposed, in addition to the cinematheque.’
    • ‘In 1999, a single print resurfaced in a French cinematheque, where it played in a regular late-night Rocky Horror Picture Show-style revue.’
    • ‘I hope to get a small distributor and look forward to lots of festival, cinematheque and museum screenings with small but appreciative audiences.’


1960s: from French cinémathèque, from cinéma ‘cinema’, on the pattern of bibliothèque ‘library’.