‘Handmade’ entertainment

There’s no way I’d be anything but totally in favor of summer cinemas. I remember the Orfeas on Vouliagmenis Avenue, where we students used to go almost every night. A herd of newly fledged leftists would watch, in awe, Eisenstein and the whole pantheon of Soviet cinema. Orfeas was a handmade cinema, its elderly owner serving as technician and barman, while his serious wife did the box office. It was an oasis, with ivy and canvas director’s chairs, which occasionally collapsed from the weight of time or an obese spectator. The whole scene was made up of people who loved the cinema and who often made no more than a bare living from it. That’s why I feel bitter when I hear of summer cinemas closing. I can’t bear the thought that one day I’ll be forced to be confined in one of those huge, antiseptic boxes where hordes of cinema «tourists» choose which of the 50 films screening simultaneously to watch. Where employees dressed as waiters direct them to microscopic auditoriums where they wait to the sound of deafening pop music. This is not about the intoxication of losing yourself in a film. All that paraphernalia has brought the substance of watching down to the level of digestion and glamour. What is all the fuss and bother about? I’m not at all nostalgic, but this industrial scale is unbearable. Let us relax and enjoy ourselves. (1) Antonis Frangkou is a radio producer.