125th anniversary of the cinema / Swiss Post


My sister sent me a letter with these stamps. In December 2020, the cinema celebrated its 125th anniversary. Thanks to the Swiss Post, I was reminded of this. The birthday party was bigger 25 years ago ...

I love these stamps illustrated by Michael Stünzi. Cinema culture changed in the 125 years of its existence. On the left stamp a scene with the projector used by the Lumières is shown, in the middle can be seen classic rolls of film, and on the right there is a digitally presented 3D experience. The cinema audience wears the fashion of the respective era.

I like the creative idea that everyone is sitting in the same two rows, connected through the times (look at the different chairs!) - and printed as stamps together. Maybe the girl left is the older woman in the middle. And the man with the mustache in the middle could be the old man on the right. The projectionists were not forgotten either. Even if I would have liked it better if the woman in the middle had worn dungarees...

Times are changing and the cinema as a place looking films together will continue. Hopefully! Let's be creative!


Gloria in Weissenfels/Germany


Gloria Weissenfels cinema postcard 1928
I met the Gloria cinema in Weissenfels in summer 2013. On the way to the holidays destination on the Unstrut river, we got off the train with our bikes in Weissenfels. And immediately came across this impressive building (look the train on the postcard). It's a big box, unfortunately empty for many years.
The Gloria has had better days. It was opened on October 18, 1928. The architect was Carl Fugmann. The remarkable building in the Bauhaus style impresses with its nested cubes, slotted windows with originally preserved lattice division and a corner structure with brick strips. The neon sign Gloria was placed directly on the street. The cinema had 1.200 seats and was also used for congresses and variety events. It was already equipped with modern air conditioning and red plush armchairs.
It is a really big cinema for a city with 40.000 inhabitants. But Weissenfels is (or was?) an important industrial city, famous for shoe manufacturing and the food industry.
In 1991, the UFA-Theater AG took over the cinema. In 1994 a discotheque moved into the building, which had to close three years later. The building was emergency secured in 2019. And it is a listed historical monument. It was never parted in smaller halls.
The postcard was printed shortly after the opening. You can see at the cinema advertising for the film Dulderin Weib / Tesha with Maria Corda. This film was released in German cinemas in 1928. 
The postcard was sent in October 1943. Pierre wrote to his wife Suzan. He was a French slave laborer in Weissenfels and worked in a factory that was on the same street as the cinema. He walked past the cinema every day. I hope Pierre and Suzan saw each other again ...
I met another cinema designed by Carl Fugmann in my next holidays, the Centralkino in Wittenberg.
Vielen Dank an Greta, die mir die Postkarte übersetzte!


Kino International in Berlin/Germany - "Die Perle" 1964


Kino International Berlin postcard 1964

This is already my 25th postcard showing Kino International in Berlin (counted according to the poster motif). The postcard is extra large (21,4 cm x 10,3 cm) and was sold with an envelope. It was made by Graphokopie H. Sander K.G. Berlin and was published by Berlin Werbung Berolina.

The poster on the cinema building advertises the film Die Perle / The Pearl / La perla - a 1947 Mexican-American film directed by Emilio Fernández. It is based on the 1947 novella The Pearl by John Steinbeck, who also co-wrote the screenplay.

The film came to East German cinemas on May 26, 1964. It was shown already August 12, 1950 in the West German cinemas with the titel Mexikanische Romanze - but only 77 min of total 85 min.

In 2002, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

The poster was designed by Horst Klöpfel.


Cinema Teatro in Asmara / Eritrea


Cinema Teatro Asmara postcard

Cinema Teatro in Asmara - today Teatro Asmara - is a late eclectic historicism building in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site  Asmara: A Modernist City of Africa.

The building was designed as an opera house and was completed in 1920 according to plans by Odoardo Cavagnari (1868–1920). The design of the immediate area could no longer be completed, as the sponsoring company went bankrupt in 1924. 

The as yet unused area in the vicinity of the opera house fell to the state, which sold it to investors in 1927, who built shops and a dance hall here 10 years later. The opera house itself has been converted into a cinema. Since then, there has been a café in the foyer. The building was used as a cinema until 1957.

After the federation of Eritrea and Ethiopia in 1952, under pressure from the Ethiopian viceroy, the building was sold to the state by the Italian owners at a price that was far below its value, and according to other sources, it was sold to a son-in-law of the then Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie. 

After Eritrea gained independence in 1991/93, it was transferred to the state property of the new state. The main office of the national telephone provider Eritel is located in a side building and the actual opera house is occasionally used as a theater.

In Asmara there are still other worth seeing cinemas like Cinema Impero, Cinema Roma and Cinema Odeon.


Kino in Nový Bor / Czech Republic


Cinema and theater Nový Bor Haida postcard
Kultura Nový Bor writes about the cinema: 

The permanent screening of silent films was allowed to the town of Bor near Česká Lípa on September 10, 1920, by granting a license to the District Political Administration in Česká Lípa with the assurance that no further concession would be granted within a radius of 4 km. It was screened in the building of today's falconry, which then belonged to the German Gymnastics Association. This makeshift, dependent on the benevolence of the association, led the city council to build its own modern theater building, which also serves to screen films. 

The cinema was a project of the architect Rudolf Bitzan, a native of Stráž pod Ralskem, living in Dresden, who has already designed the new theater in Teplice and a cinema in Teplice. He was also architect of the Crematorium and urn grove in Liberec-PerštýnAccording to his plan, the cinema was built by the local company Rösler and Glaser, under the leadership of architect Riegl.

The ceremonial opening took place on November 13, 1926 at 8 pm, with the participation of important guests from the provincial authorities, district representatives and representatives of neighboring towns and villages. On Sunday, November 14, the morning promenade concert in front of the cinema followed, and in the evening the feature film An der schönen blauen Donau (Germany, 1926) was screened. Ferdinand Krehan from Česká Lípa became the tenant of the building.

Until 1980, two reconstructions took place, which mainly concerned projection technology, electrical installation and interior. On June 30, 1981, a large fire destroyed virtually the entire building. The next day, the Municipal National Committee decided on a complete reconstruction of the cinema. According to the architectural solution of Ing. arch. Rudolf Bergr and Ing. Vladimír Novák from Stavoprojekt Ústí nad Labem, carried out the reconstruction of the Nový Bor District Construction Company. Construction manager Walter John handed over the construction to the Municipal National Committee in April 1989.

On April 21, 1989, the cinema was ceremoniously opened with a new Czech film Oznamuje se láskám vašim / Communicating to Your Love. Mr. Radovan Novotný was appointed head of the cinema. The Municipal Cinema won the "Cinema of the Year" award in 1996 and 1999.

The Cinema still works and has one hall with 293 seats.

The postcard was published between 1938 and 1945, when the city belonged to Germany. Since 1948 the town is named Nový Bor. 


Scala in Mukachevo / Ukraine


Cinema Scala Mukachevo postcard 1958
The cinema Scala opened in 1929. At this times (from 1919 till 1938) the city Mukachevo in Transcarpathia was part of Czechoslovakia, later of Hungary (till 1945), then of the Soviet Union and since 1991 Ukraine.

The cinema was built in the style of modernism. It was designed by the famous Czechoslovak architect Ludovít Oelschläger (1896-1984) a native of the Slovak city of Košice. Among his works the Jewish synagogue and school in Košice, cinema Slovan in Košice, trade academy in Mukachevo (now city house of culture), Sanatorium in Tatranská Polianka, a cinema in Uzhhorod.

In Soviet times, the name Scala was changed into Перемога / Peremoha ("Victory") - as you can see above the entry on the 1958 published postcard. The cinema was renamed in the 1990s and still works. Today there are 329 places in the hall and a VIP-box on the balcony with 82 seats and separate tables.


Balkon-Kino in Berlin/Germany


Balkon-Kino Stendaler Strasse Berlin
In 1994, the Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Hellersdorf (WoGeHe - a housing association, today Stadt und Land) stretched  a canvas between two steel scaffolding on Stendaler Strasse for the first time. A new open-air cinema was born. Viewers could enjoy the films free of charge from the balcony or from the space in front of the screen. Everyone brings their own chair. Balkon-Kino  - Balcony cinema.

In 2005, the Balkon-Kino moved from Stendaler Strasse to Cecilienplatz, and shows four films in one season.

The postcard is a free postcard from the Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Hellersdorf, published between 1994 and 1999. I like this view of the audience.


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. In 1947, he opened his first movie theater Burg-Lichtspiele (today Burglichtspiele Gustavsheim) in a 1899 built chapel.

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

Palm's busy life finished in 2013.

I publish this no-cinema-showing postcard because cinemas are not only any buildings for showing films. 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 culture and history and their stories are also dying.


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.