BFI Mediatheque

Explore highlights from the world’s greatest film and TV archive in BFI Southbank’s free digital viewing space.

Temporary notice

BFI Mediatheque is temporarily closed due to software issues. We are working to resolve these issues and hope to have the space up and running by Tuesday 27 February. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Mediatheque at BFI Southbank is the place to view over 95,000 titles from the BFI National Archive, one of the world’s most important and diverse collections of film and television. It’s free and everyone’s welcome – whether you’re studying, researching or just want to be entertained.

Opening hours

  • Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 9pm
  • closed on Mondays, except Bank Holidays

Please be aware that the Mediatheque may close occasionally for private bookings and events. If you are planning a special trip to view Mediatheque content, please contact the BFI Reuben Library – to double check that the space is open on the dates you require.

Use of the Mediatheque

  • choose a booth and touch the screen to start your viewing. Headphones are provided, but you are also welcome to bring your own, wired headphones if you prefer
  • the space is deep cleaned overnight and hand sanitiser is available for your use

New titles are added regularly, thanks to National Lottery funding, which supports our digitisation of film and TV material at risk of being lost or forgotten.

We can’t make most of these titles available to watch at home due to rights restrictions, so the only way to access the full range of remarkable stories is to visit the Mediatheque in person.

A selection of Mediatheque content can also be viewed at Central Library Manchester although, please note this Mediatheque is currently closed for refurbishment.

What can you discover at BFI Mediatheques?

Unearth rare TV

From the earliest surviving TV plays and pioneering documentaries to episodes of cult kids’ TV and hard-to-find sitcoms.

Journey back to the Victorian and Edwardian eras

Transport yourself to the dawn of cinema in the 1890s.

Rediscover classic feature films

Get a crash course in British cinema or revisit those iconic big-screen moments.

Explore Britain on film

Travel round Britain sampling life through the decades.

Browse recent TV programmes

Catch up on your 21st-century favourites, including episodes of prestige drama, current affairs and game shows.

Entertain the kids with animated gems

Nostalgic parent or first-time viewer, there’s something for kids of all ages.