T-2 Days and Counting

The annual Göteborg Film Festival is almost upon us, with only two days left when I write this. 11 days of film and, for me, 11 days of clicking Play because it’s all digital now, with the exception of one (1) film.

I’ve written about the advent of digital film before, but also about the death of a profession, and while I briefly considered another stab at these two subjects, I quickly came to my senses; I feel that I’ve said pretty much everything I have to say on the subject. This year’s festival is merely a confirmation of those two blog posts, and there is little reason to reiterate any of it.

So I’ll write about the death of a cinema instead. More specifically, my cinema, the Draken, until recently the last surviving Cinerama theatre with its original appearance intact, until last summer mostly unchanged by both the ravages of time and pitiful small-screen multiplexes. It survived them both, although Svensk Filmindustri, Sweden’s only cinema owner of note, did have plans to convert the theatre into a double-screen abomination in the early seventies.

What it didn’t survive, in the end, was the long-planned “renovation” by its owner, Folkets hus, a k a Sweden’s working class movement. The original 1950s chandeliers were thrown away and holes cut into the marble walls to lead the way to toilets forced into the space under the auditorium. Light riggings were carelessly hung up in the auditorium  itself and computer-controlled fluorescent lights with only nominal dimming capabilities were allowed to replace the old auditorium lighting.

And in the large upper foyer, the maritime-themed painting that used to be the pride of the cinema has now been replaced by a motorised conference screen. My cinema has now been reduced into a pathetic two-screen cinema. Or, rather, conference hall. Well done, Folkets hus.

Those closest to you are the ones that can hurt you the most.

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