It ‘a warm and muggy Sunday of July, and while people struggle to find a small space at the beach or seek refuge in air-conditioned stores, we decided to go on a visit to an old cinema, located in the heart of a small sea village that we had scheduled. The exterior view is not exciting, hardly seems a cine-theater, but we know that a building like this has a story to tell.
In fact, after extensive research, we discover that it was built in the early thirties (during the rise to power of Mussolini) and that the main facade presented Art Nouveau style details, erased in the sixties to modernize the exterior. We know how to enter, thanks to a small patrol made a few weeks earlier.
We climb over the large horizontally wooden planks. We gather in the courtyard of the cinema, on the opposite side of the main entrance. A jungle of brambles and weeds slows us down a bit ‘, but still we get inside.
We continue, and we find ourselves in the vast audience of the upper gallery with a huge stage, that had the possibility to leave space,guest not only the films, but also various shows.
Alongside the chairs available to the orchestra, we go down the stairs that lead us under the stage, occupied mostly by scattered chairs, but the first thing we notice is an old wooden piano, a little ‘shabby, dark and fascinating , in our opinion it could date back to the early years of cinema.
Next to it there is a room that houses a huge projector maybe from 70s.
Back in the stalls and we head towards the main entrance, to the right of the large hall, where they begin the stairs that lead us to the second floor.
In front of us a room with a shelf full of old newspapers, films and documents. Unfortunately is clear that this cinema over the years has undergone a lot of vandalism, because its abandonment dates back to the early 80s, and given the location of the place is normal that is in this conditions.
To the left of this furniture we find dark, narrow stairs that lead us to the Cabinet of the projections where you can admire other two old film projectors and many pizzas scattered on the ground.
We go out of the closet and return to the main stairs, pass the second flight and here we are in the upper gallery.
From here we can admire the vast stage that for years hosted several artists and showed countless films. Not many Cine-theaters are remaining in Italy.
At the time, these important structures were the main entertainment of many families, as well as an important social tool, sadly outdated.
We finish to shot, and we climb back already with the desire to find some other place.
In the meantime, as many other people in the past, we also leave a small piece of our heart in this old cinema.
Review: Valentina Santamaria – Alex Hateful
Pics: Chris Morri
Born in ’76, photo-reporter, musician and artist. Nowday he does not work for Ascosi Lasciti but he’s leading his personal project : the “P.L.A.I.” (italian abandoned places and locations)