Originally opened in 1969 during the Cold War, the building formerly known as Culpeper Switch was designed to house $4 billion in gold—enough to replenish the U.S. cash supply east of the Mississippi River should the unthinkable happen. At the time of its construction, it was reportedly the world's largest single-floor vault. On top of its huge cash reserves, it also had 200 beds and enough freeze-dried food to feed 400 people for a month, ensuring that federal officials and their families would have a place to hunker down if disaster struck. But while the facility waited at the ready for the nuclear apocalypse, officials used it as a hub for the nation's banks. According to Gizmodo, within a year of its opening it was routing financial transactions among 5,700 banks around the country. This network had another purpose, of course—to keep the lines of communications open in case of nuclear attack.
Today, all that protection is now used to conserve the nation's film history. With that knowledge, you might feel a bit more reverence the next time you start up a movie—even if that movie is Gigli. Explore the historic Packard Campus and find out what goes on there in the videos below.