Caroli, Regina, Rex in Rüsselsheim am Main / Germany


Rüsselsheim is famous for the Opel car production. And good workers need good entertainment in their spare time. The 1962 sent postcard shows the building Friedensplatz 6 in Rüsselsheim. Honestly, it doesn't show a cinema - only neon signs for three cinemas.

Caroli was opened on Christmas Day 1955 with 407 seats, Rex was opened in 1956 with 482 seats (not far away from Friedensplatz) and closed in 2011, Regina has opened from 1957 till 1985. From 1958 all three cinemas belonged to Kurt Palm.

Kurt Palm, born in 1924 in Mainz-Gustavsburg, made his first 8mm films at a young age and initially trained as an electrician. During the Second World War he was employed as a cameraman and reporter and returned to his homeland in 1946 after several wounds and brief imprisonment. In 1947, he started opening his first movie theater Burg-Lichtspiele (today Burglichtspiele Gustavsheim) in a 1899 built chapel.

Palm soon expanded its business activities. At times he owned over twenty movie theaters and began to produce films himself. His best-known projects include the documentary Der 2. Weltkrieg / The Second World War from 1982 and various erotic cartoons. His REPA Filmproduktion GmbH was one of the most successful German film producers in the early 1970s.

This busy businessman died in 2013.

Cinemas are not only buildings for showing movies. Making good entertainment is a hard job from Monday till Sunday, all year long, done by enthusiastic men and women and not by machines. When these people die, a piece of cinema and cinema history and cinema stories also die.


Kino International in Berlin/Germany - "Die Frau, die man nie vergessen kann" 1964


Kino International Berlin postcard 1964

Another postcard in my collection of Kino International in Berlin. It is a view of Karl-Marx-Allee (until 1961 Stalinallee) with the cinema on the left, looking east to Strausberger Platz. The two 14-story high-rise buildings were built in the 1950s as Haus des Kindes (House of the Child) and Haus Berlin. In addition to the apartments for hundreds of workers, there was a dancing bar in Haus Berlin and in Haus des Kindes there were a puppet theater, a kindergarten, a children's department store and a children's cafe.

It wasn't easy to read the advertised movie on the poster. I could identify it with the help of the book Mehr Kunst als Werbung. Das DDR-Filmplakat by Detlef Helmbold (even if the poster does not match the illustration in the book). It is the Polish movie Die Frau, die man nie vergessen kann / Naprawdę wczoraj (Poland 1963, directed by Jan Rybkowski). This movie was released in East Germany on July 10, 1964.

The postcard was published in 1965 by Gebr. Garloff KG Magdeburg.

In October 2020 I visited Berlin and Kino International. There was a little interesting exhibition inside Pavillions für die Karl-Marx-Allee. And I heard, that Berlin's Karl-Marx-Allee should be on the Unesco World Heritage List.

I didn't see a movie there. I preferred to walk along Karl-Marx-Allee to Warschauer Strasse. I was amazed that there was so little going on on the avenue on a Saturday afternoon.


Lichtspielhaus in Nerchau/Germany


Nerchau today has about 3800 inhabitants and belongs to the city of Grimma, it is located on the river Mulde.
The cinema Lichtspielhaus ("Light Play House" = Movie Theater) in Nerchau opened on 25th December 1912. Hermann Märker was the owner. I think he is the man on the picture below left, to the left of the door. Maybe, the woman to the right is his wife.
Hermann Märker was a plumber by trade, with his own business.
Look at his advertisment in the address book of Grimma 1912:

"Nerchauer Lichtspiel-Theater. Great constant theater, singing and speaking photographs in the highest perfection. The very latest events of the day in the picture. Pleasant, interesting stay.
Program changes every Wednesday and Saturday.
Excellent entertainment music from first-class instruments during the presentation of the slides.
Half price for students and children."

I don't know if the house was newly built with a cinema in 1912, it could be. A year later, Hermann Märker opened another cinema in Brandis, a city 25 km away.

The 1912 opened cinema with 200 seats was the only one in Nerchau and closed in 1991.

In its last years it was used as a Café-Kino with 60 seats, where you could have a meal during watching a movie. If you look at the postcard, there was already a Café in this house in 1912, maybe run by Hermann Märker's wife Lina.


Karl-Marx-Lichtspiele in Stadtroda/Germany


Karl-Marx-Lichtspiele Stadtroda postcard 1960
Stadtroda is a city with about 5.000 inhabitants in Thuringia. It has a castle and an old monastery, and no more cinema.
The cinema Karl-Marx-Lichtspiele opened in 1955 and closed in 1991. It was newly built with apartments above the cinema hall.
You can see bove the entrance a poster for the film Zwei Mütter / Two Mothers (East Germany 1957, directed by Frank Beyer).
The film was Frank Beyer's graduation film at the Film School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague. The film tells the story of two women, one French and the other German, who fight for a child who has been mistakenly taken by the Germans after a bomb raid.
In 1974, Frank Beyer directed the film Jakob der Lügner / Jacob the Liar - the only East German picture ever selected for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


Bali in Oberhausen/Germany


Bahnhof Oberhausen postcard 1959
Bali - sounds like wide world and adventure, and only means Bahnhofs-Lichtspiele - Railway Station Cinema. So you can see on this 1959 sent postcard the railway station in Oberhausen and about in the middle the lettering BALI above the showcases and BALI Kino left above the main entrance.

From 1930 to 1934, the station was built in the classic modern style. The Oberhausen architect Schwingel and the Reichsbahnoberrat Karl Herrmann designed the current building with a clear and calm cubist design language.

During the World War II, the station was badly damaged. The reception building hall could not be put back into operation until 1954 in a greatly modified form, a false ceiling was put in to install the Bali cinema in the upper part, and a small shopping arcade was created below it.

The BALI cinema opened as a newsreel cinema operated by AKI (Aktualitätenkino AG). These newsreel cinemas opened with the aim of reducing the waiting time for rail passengers to get to their train connection. The more televisions there were at the homes, the less important newsreel cinemas became. From 1982 there were shown sex films not only in BALI Oberhausen. And finally it was closed in 1984.

Another former newsreel cinema in my collection: Filmtheater Hauptbahnhof in Dresden


Röda Kvarn in Halmstad/Sweden


Cinema Roda Kvarn Halmstad postcard 1998
Another maximum card showing a cinema building, published in Sweden in 1998. The design was by Eva Lena Johansson, the stamp was made by Piotr Naszarkowski, photo was taken by Kjell Furberg.
Furberg, who worked as a cinema machinist, has made a name for himself as a cinema historian and his book Svenska Biografer / Cinema Theatres in Sweden was published in 2000. 
The cinema Röda Kvarn ("Red Mill") was built in 1925 according to drawings by the town architect August Svensson (1886–1935). Opening in February 1926, it had 500 seats in one hall.
What distinguishes the cinema is mainly a magnificent classicist screen façade on two floors that is unparalleled in Sweden. Changes have been made to the interior during the 1950s and 1970s, mainly in terms of surface layers, proscenium and ticket office, but on the whole the interior is well preserved with a lounge, balcony and lower and upper foyer. Many time- and cinema-typical details are preserved. The cinema conveys knowledge about the aesthetic ideals of the 1920s and about the importance that the cinema had as a central entertainment palace during the early 20th century. Its unique façade reflects the ambition to give the cinema and the film a reputation and status as a cultural institution through a pompous architecture.
The cinema has been a building monument since 27 May 1994.
Today cinema Röda Kvarn has five halls with 562 seats at all. It is Halmstad's only cinema.


Cathay in Singapore

Cathay Cinema in the Cathay Building was opened on 3 October 1939. The building was the first skyscraper in Singapore and at a height of 83.5 metres the tallest building in Southeast Asia at that time. It was designed by British architect Frank W. Brewer and was the headquarters for the British Malaya Broadcasting Corporation.
Cathay Cinema had 1.300 seats and it was the island's first air-conditioned cinema.
The name Cathay is an alternative European historical name for China and from the 1935 founded Cathay Organisation Holdings Limited, a Singapore's leisure and entertainment group.
In 1990, Cathay Organisation opened Singapore's first arthouse cinema, The picturehouse adjacent to Cathay Building. The main Cathay Cinema was then converted into a two-hall cineplex.
Cathay Cinema closed in 2000. The front facade of its theatre building structure was gazetted as a national monument for conservation on 10 February 2003, while the rest of the building structure was later demolished.
The newly built Cathay was opened on 24 March 2006. Today there is the 8-screen Cathay Cineplex.
You can see on the postcard, the poster for the movie They Shall Have Music (USA, 1939) and above the entrance advertising for The Man in the Iron Mask (USA, 1939).

Queen's Theatre in Singapore

It's not easy to read the cinema's name in the middle of all these posters.
Queen's Theatre is a cinema in the Singaporean suburb Geylang. It opened in 1930 as Wembley Cinema.
In 1939 the name was changed into Queen's Theatre.
The photo is from autumn 1940 and the advertised movies are:
- Espionage Agent (USA, 1939)
- Siti Akbari (Dutch East Indies, 1940)
- Her Jungle Love (USA, 1940)
- Block-Heads with Laurel & Hardy (USA, 1938).
The writing at the top does not announce a new film: They are greetings for the Muslim Festival of breaking the Fast. Greetings connected with the names of poplar actors Rokiah, Radin Mochtar, Kartolo, Annie Landouw and Titing - all from Indonesia.
Also the poster at the bottom left doesn't advertise a film either: Kronchong is the name of a ukulele-like instrument and an Indonesian musical style. Also popular at the movies.

So you had could spend a good time at the Queen's Theatre.
The cinema was closed in 1982.
In 2000, GrandLink Square was built on the site of the former Queen’s Theatre. Its front facade was kept and become part of the facades of the GrandLink Square.

The Majestic in Singapore

The Majestic Theatre opened in 1928. It was built as an opera house by buisnessman Eu Tong Sen for one of his wives, who loved Cantonese Opera. Eu also formed an opera troupe for her.
The building was designed by Swan and Maclaren, most prominent architectural firm in Singapore at this time. The centre of the facade is decorated with five Chinese figures, and is framed with a tiled Chinese style border.
The Majestic Theatre was a venue for Cantonese opera until 1938, then it was converted into a cinema. The Shaw Brothers rented the place, renamed it The Queen's Theatre, and used it to screen the latest Cantonese blockbuster films. On the postcard, you can see all the posters advertise movies with Chinese letters.
In 1998 the cinema was closed.
In the early 2000s, the building was renovated into a three-story shopping mall and opened under the name The Majestic on 17 January 2003.

Capitol Building in Singapore

It's a bit strange about Capitol in Singapore: There is Capitol Theatre and Capitol Building (so written on the stamp). Both buildings were built in 1929/30 and stand next to each other. But there is only one cinema opened on 22 May 1930 - the Capitol Theatre.
The Capitol Theatre was designed neoclassical architecture by British architects Keys and Dowdeswell, inspired from the Roxy Theatre in New York. It had 1.100 seats on the ground floor and 500 seats at the circle. On 22 May 1930, Capitol Theatre officially opened with musical comedy film Rio Rita (USA, 1929).
In the 1930s, the Capitol was the largest and the newest cinema in Singapore.
Movie stars like Charlie Chaplin, Ava Gardner, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks visited the theatre to promote their movies in Singapore.
In 1989, the theatre closed for a two-week renovation with rewiring, reequipped with the new sound system and projectors and painting of the cinema hall and reopened on 26 October 1989 with Lethal Weapon 2. But closed in December 1998. 
Fortunatelly, the Capitol reopened on 19 May 2015 with the world premiere of Singapura: The Musical. Now 977 seats are ready for different venues.
The advertised movie is Bengal Brigade (USA, 1954).