If you have a thing that’s been taken away from you when you recover it you will appreciate it more. It’s not about these hard times of pandemic that we are talking about in the following lines, but about the uplifting feeling of being in a cinema hall that we really miss. Sometimes, we feel and understand a film better because of the place where we see it and the people around us. Will it have the ultimate equipment, will it be casual or cosy, will it be close to our home or bringing on some romantic vibes? Let’s discover together some emblematic cinemas from the participating countries to Film O’Clock International Festival.
Art-deco Cinema Romuva in the City Centre of Kaunas, Lithuania
Cinema Romuva was opened by two businessmen Antanas Steikūnas, and Petras Steikūnas in 1940. Located in the main city avenue, the cinema was built in just two years and was considered the most spacious, modern, and original cinema not only in the city of Kaunas but also in the Baltic States. It had the most modern sound system at the time and fabulous art-deco architecture.
However, Romuva didn’t have a proper chance to show off all its beauty. After a few years cinema was closed and during WWII was nationalised. The film programme was severely controlled by the National cinema board. Despite that, Romuva became a beautiful and romantic cinema to go to for a few generations who lived through. After Lithuania had recovered its independence from the Soviet Union, the cinema went through the long privatization process.
Regardless of all the past difficulties and challenges, nowadays Romuva remains the centre of art-house cinema in Kaunas. It became a member of European films network Europa Cinemas in 2015. Since 2016 the cinema building has been reconstructed. Architects are trying to save the most precious interwar period architectural details and Romuva is awaiting a huge reopening soon – the second chance to show its modernist beauty.
Temporarily the screenings were organized in Kaunas National Drama Theatre, also in city parks, squares. The film programme is loved by culture fans. Now Romuva became a place for a unique community of film lovers in Kaunas. The cinema not only screens excellent films but also hosts interesting events, outdoor screenings, film festivals, Q&As, various educational activities and offers a relaxing and cosy experience.
Peasant Museum Cinema – art-house theatre in the heart of Bucharest
One of the most popular art-house cinemas in Bucharest, Peasant Museum Cinema, is the go-to theatre for cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike. The cinema is a member of Europa Cinemas Network and puts a lot of emphasis on European and auteur films, titles from all over the world that premiered at the most famous festivals, but also organizing big events in collaboration with other European cinemas or organizations such as C.I.C.A.E (Arthouse Cinema Day, European Cinema Night, etc).
Peasant Museum Cinema is located inside the National Peasants’ Museum. It is a very special place, very green, in downtown. For more than 30 years the communists held control of this place. But during the ‘90s the Romanian painter Horia Bernea and his crew turned this place into what it initially was: The Romanian Peasant Museum.
Peasant Museum Cinema sheds a light on Romanian cinema, by organizing discussions and Q&A sessions with the cast and crew of the films. Also, the cinema is home to numerous autochthonous festivals, being a pillar for Romanian art-house cinemas.
During the summer, the Cinema Peasant Museum also organizes open-air screenings and fun events like dog-friendly projections.
Because of its location, vintage look and a balanced variety of films from all the corners of the world, the Peasant Museum Cinema is a reference place for film enthusiasts in Bucharest. The cinema became a sanctuary for beautiful films, well-thought discussions and popular festivals.
Modern Cinema – an entertainment center in Greece
Cineplexx Cinemas started their journey in 1967, in Austria. Since then, the company has succeeded in building an Entertainment Empire through a vast amount of countries – Italy, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia, and Romania are only some of the countries that have acquired the Cineplexx brand.
Cineplexx came to Greece in November of 2015. And to this day, it persistently redefines Cinema: By implementing breathtaking events, executing surprising actions that extend far beyond the boundaries of the multiplex, as well as introducing the first and only IMAX Hall in the History of Greece. With 8 cinema halls –including one magical Summer Theater– every visitor is bound to find his or her Place in our Home of Heroes.
We believe that our customer experience ought to begin long before you even enter the Halls: It ought to begin from your first step inside our cinema. Hence Cineplexx is and always will be the Home of Heroes: Every major release –and not only big blockbusters– is accompanied by approximately a week of consecutive multidimensional events; providing to attendees –free of charge– an unparalleled mix of activities: Photographs with Impressive Cosplayers, Juggling, Personal Portraits, Green Screen Photobooths, and Games with Jaw-Dropping Prizes are just some of the endless experiences that await viewers of all ages.
Due to the shocking Coronavirus Pandemic, and all its current implications, a lot of clickbait articles are circulating the web: The Death of Cinema, Cinema Has Died, No Future for Cinema, and so on. Although undoubtedly impressive titles, they are far from realistic or useful. Cinema is first and foremost a communal event, about the beautifully primitive experience of gathering in a dark hall with a group of strangers and being transfixed by that magical light in front of you. About hiding in there, away from the world out there, until you find yourself again. This cannot be and will never be replaced by streaming services and/or any other alternatives: It is an essential element of who we are as a species. To quote Christopher Nolan: “Maybe, like me, you thought you were going to the movies for surround sound, or Goobers, or soda and popcorn, or movie stars. But we were not. We were there for each other.”
Our biggest challenge as an industry will be to focus on the elements that make Cinema… well, Cinema. Every single decision we make will have to drive us towards this magical aspect of the moviegoing experience that cannot be replicated in one’s house. For us at Cineplexx, this has always been the case: Investing in new technologies, finding fun ways to interact with people, and organizing events that celebrate our movies. Now we will be more stubborn than ever in proving –again and again and again– that Cinema is just another word for Home.