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History of Cinecitta A 20th century addition to the magic of Rome is the film studio of Cinecitta. The Cinecitta studios have been making films for 70 years. They're also starting to play host to television series - suitably enough, the BBC/HBO production Rome is filmed here. Cinecitta was opened by Mussolini in April 1937, with the intention of promoting Italy and the current fascist ideals through cinema. The complex, in south-east Rome, was designed as a complete centre of production, with facilities covering everything from training, through the production of films, to post-production. Within six years, almost 300 films had been made at the new studios, assisted by the Alfieri Law, introduced in 1939, which was designed to assist home-grown film production. By the 1950s, American production companies in search of cheap facilities began to turn their attention to Cinecitta. Films like Roman Holiday and Three Coins in the Fountain took advantage of both the facilities at Cinecitta and the possibilities for location shooting in Rome itself. The studios also hosted many epic productions, an early example being Quo Vadis? in 1951. Ben Hur was filmed here in 1959, and the production of Cleopatra was moved from London to Cinecitt following problems with budgeting, bad weather and Elizabeth Taylor's health. Cinecitta Studios was privatised in the mid 1990s, and it now hosts many television productions as well as films. The studio is closed to the public, although it occasionally opens for tours. There are plans to open a full studio tour, along with a theme park called Cinecitta World, at some point in the near future.