cinecitta_3Cinecittà’s studios, the Italian answer to the Hollywood, where inaugurated in 1937. Through the alternation of periods of glory and decadence, transfers of ownership, fluctuating support of institutions, and fires that have repeatedly damaged its precious historical heritage, in 80 years of activity, more than 3,000 films have been shot in Cinecittà, for a total of 47 Oscars to be proud of. This important anniversary will be celebrated with a series of initiatives, screenings of timeless successes, such as Vitelloni, The Sweet Life, Mamma Roma, 8½, and a tribute to Alberto Sordi in The Traffic Policeman as icon of the carefree Italy of the 50s economic boom.

The colossal complex – 14 studios, development, printing and editing plants, streets, squares, swimming pools for aquatic shots, the headquarters of the Istituto Luce and the Experimental Center of Cinematography – was built in just over a year on area of about 500 thousand square meters in the then deserted outskirts of Rome. The flourishing production of movies was abruptly interrupted by the fall of Mussolini in ’43 and in the following years Cinecittà was used as Nazi collection center for the raids of Rome first and as accommodation for displaced people and homeless former colonists then. In the 50s the studios work picked up again with the arrival of major foreign film productions and the Italian neorealistic movies that create the legend of Cinecittà, the new El Dorado of international cinema.

In the recent years, after the decline that started in the 60s, the studios received the renewed attention of international productions – The English Patient, Gangs of New York, The Legend of 1900 – and of impressive television productions like Rome, Big Brother.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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