Posted on 21. Sep, 2010 in Victoria

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image has welcomed over one million people through its doors over the last 12 months, smashing previous attendance records.

Minister for the Arts Peter Batchelor today announced the milestone which caps off a bumper year for ACMI.

“The past year has seen ACMI really hit its stride with the opening of new galleries, production spaces and resources, and a fantastic exhibition program, including the phenomenally successful Tim Burton exhibition – which has now attracted more than 200,000 visitors.”

Mr Batchelor said in the last 12 months, a number of major projects had come to fruition, transforming ACMI’s physical spaces and significantly increasing its programs on offer.

“Most significant was the opening of Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television and Digital Culture, a world-first permanent free-entry exhibition which charts the history of the moving image,” he said.

“ACMI’s history dates back to 1946 when, as the State Film Centre, it began championing the moving image.  Since it opened its doors in 2002 at Federation Square with a bold new vision to champion screen culture in the broadest possible sense, ACMI has rapidly moved into a central position in the cultural life of Victoria.

“Implementing a new vision is no easy feat.  The Brumby Labor Government understood this and provided additional capital investment of over $16 million since 2002 – quite a contrast to the Liberal National Coalition who in 2006 threatened to reduce funding by $4 million and move it out of Federation Square.

“Our investment and hard work with ACMI is now really paying off for the people of Victoria.

“ACMI has a loyal, growing audience, especially among young people.  It offers a superb permanent exhibition – free to all – and has proven its capacity to host major international blockbusters and make itself noticed around the world.  It’s a great Victorian success story.”

ACMI Director Tony Sweeney said the achievements of the past year were borne from years of planning and reflected on ACMI’s position as not only a major Australian cultural institution, but one that is increasingly recognised on an international stage.

“To attract over 1 million visitors in a 12-month period is a very significant achievement for any cultural institution,” he said.

“It is a truly outstanding result that places ACMI among the top of the league in Australia, and is also significant on the world stage.”

Highlights from the last 12 months include:

  • 1 Million visitors (12-months to September 17, 2010);
  • 200,000 visitors (and counting) to Tim Burton: The Exhibition  – ACMI’s most successful exhibition (as of Sunday, 19 September);
  • 49% of all visitors to Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television and Digital Culture  were visiting ACMI for the first time and more than 54% were from outside of Melbourne;
  • The opening of the Australian Mediatheque, a new national screen culture resource centre at ACMI, created in partnership with the National Film and Sound Archive with Fred Schepisi as inaugural patron;
  • Public Programs attendance increased by 28% (2009/10 financial year); and
  • Education program attendances more than doubled (up by 104%) to 42,227, the equivalent of over 2000 individual class visits (2009/10 financial year)


ACMI President John Thwaites said the creation of Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television and Digital Culture, and the Australian Mediatheque, has cemented ACMI’s reputation within industry as a major contributor.

‘”It has been an extraordinary watershed year for ACMI, a culmination of all the initiative and commitment of our people and our supporters, specifically the Victorian Government, since our birth really only a short time ago,” he said.

“We are now firmly placed on the national and international landscape as a unique, leading worldwide institution within our field.”

Tim Burton: The Exhibition, ACMI’s current Melbourne Winter Masterpieces blockbuster will close on October 10, 2010, with a special series of late night Burton Club events until Midnight on 7-9 October.

 More details:-

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