The Cinecittà Studios are a complex of film studios in Rome, they are the largest film studios in Europe .
Many famous Italian directors and actors have worked in Cinecittà such as Federico Fellini, Ettore Scola, Sergio Leone, Luchino Visconti, Anna Magnani, Alberto Sordi, Vittorio De Sica, Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Claudia Cardinale, Pier Paolo Pasolini but also directors and actors foreigners, including Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.
Some 3,000 films were shot in the studios, 90 of which received an Oscar nomination, which was won by 47 films.
In July 2017, Cinecittà Studios returned to public control managed and coordinated by Istituto Luce Cinecittà, a public company fully owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, which oversees its expansion and enhancement.
In 1935 a vast fire destroyed the cinema studios of the Cines company, located near the Basilica of San Giovanni, and in the same year the company was bought by Carlo Roncoroni’s SAISC (Società Anonima Italiana Stabilimenti Cinematografici).
In 1936 Roncoroni bought 600,000 square meters along the via Tuscolana. The works began on January 30, 1936 with the laying of the first stone and after only fifteen months, on April 28 1937, Mussolini and Giacomo Paulucci di Calboli inaugurated Cinecittà, a complex consisting of 73 buildings, including 21 soundstages, power plants , management offices designed by the architect Gino Peressutti.
For the construction of the new factories, workers from the old Cines were used, who then remained in the stage teams, as well as technicians and engineers (who gave rise to the first Italian sound film The Song of Love, by Gennaro Righelli) who taught Cinecittà together with the great directors of photography, also from Cines.
To reach the plants there was only via Tuscolana, very narrow at the time, and the employees went on foot or by bicycle, but after the war a bus line was established that stopped in front of the studios, as can be seen from a scene from the film Gorgeous. In the 1950s a STEFER tram line was built which detached from the Castelli Romani tramway and led to Piazzale di Cinecittà. Subsequently in February 1980 there was the inauguration of Line A of the Rome metro which provided for a stop right in front of the factory (Cinecittà).
At the head of Cinecittà, since its foundation, there was Carlo Roncoroni (personal friend of Luigi Freddi) until the day of his death in 1938.
After Roncoroni’s death, Cinecittà, in budget deficit, was taken over by the state.
In 1978 the Istituto Luce in Piazza Cinecittà was sold to the Municipality of Rome and used as the administrative headquarters of the then X District (now Municipality VII).
In 1982 Antonio Manca became president of Cinecittà, who will subsequently head the Istituto Luce, holding the role of general manager from 1985 to 1990.
Set of the tv series Roma
A year later, close to the Experimental Cinematography Center, the warehouses were devastated by a fire, for which the Fire Brigade worked more than 24 hours. An unspecified number of costumes and props, an irreplaceable historical and artistic heritage went up in smoke.
In recent years, Cinecittà theaters have hosted the sets of some major American productions such as Carroll Ballard’s Black Stallion (1977), Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather – Part III (1990), Rob Cohen’s Daylight – Trap in the tunnel (1996) , Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient (1996), Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, Wes Anderson’s Steve Zissou’s Aquatic Adventures, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and the television series Rome (2005-2007). The sets of Rome were damaged by a fire that broke out in August 2007. In 2008 Cinecittà was made available for the filming of the second episode of the 30th season of the British science fiction series Doctor Who, set in the Pompeii era.
Overall, protected and not very much on display, since 2000 there was the “house”, where from the first edition the competitors of the Italian edition of the reality show Big Brother were “locked up”, then destroyed by a fire on the night between 13 and 14 December 2013 and subsequently rebuilt for the new season of the television format.
In 2015 the studios host, among other two major international productions for the remake of Ben-Hur and Zoolander 2, reaching the record turnover and the return to profit after taxes.
In 2018 a part of the Rome series set was further damaged by a new fire.
In December 2019, the Italian Audiovisual and Cinema Museum was opened at the studios.
Cinecittà is an imposing complex of buildings and structures spread over an area of 400,000 m² (40 ha) about 9 km from the center of Rome and is part of one of the largest production communities in the world, second only to Hollywood.
It has 21 soundstages of varying sizes from a minimum of 15 by 30 meters up to 40 by 80 meters of the Theater 5. All soundstages are acoustically soundproofed, equipped with air conditioning, electrical and lighting systems, gratings, walkways, overhead cranes and waterproof hatches for scenic effects. Each theater has a series of service rooms: dressing rooms, offices, make-up rooms, tool shops, warehouses.
Also part of the complex are a 10-hectare backlot and an outdoor swimming pool of 7000 square meters, 2 m deep for a total volume of water of 13,500 cubic meters and surmounted by a blue back seabed 80 m wide and 20 high.
There are also technical facilities for film and television post production (development, printing and restoration laboratories of film, digital post production laboratories, audio post production laboratories, etc.) and workshops for setting up scenic structures (carpentry , carpentry, sculpture workshop, artistic painting workshop, etc.). All completed by the most varied services: rooms for cinema projections and conferences, security service for celebrities, canteen, restaurant, parks, bars, parking lots.