Our Programs The Archives The Archives hold thousands of posters, photos and other film-related paper in the Permanent Collection, Lagniappe and General Inventory, Friends of the Archives Devotees of posters and supporters of MPA form the Friends of the Archives, They may receive gifts from the Lagniappe and special consideration for events. Preservation Handling and storing the contents of the Archives requires constant and careful attention. Staff must be trained and educated to a high standard. Vitascope Hall The first commercial movie theater in America opened on July 26, 1896 on Canal Street in New Orleans. MPA is leading the effort to place an historic marker at the site. Research Our consulting archivists have published more than 20 reference books. The Archives are providing a wealth of new information. Special Events MPA hosts exhibits and parties to share the collection and promote preservation. We can also provide speakers for like-minded groups.