“Until a few years ago Lugo was a small capital of cinema.
One of the last films with an overflowing room that we were lucky enough to see was “The Lord of the Rings” at the Giardino cinema.
Which with the Astra cinema, the Venturini, the San Rocco and the Dorias (albeit only slightly in the Cotignola area) constituted a heritage of no less than five cinemas.
I well remember that in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster we screened the film “Chinese Syndrome” in the morning, with a student strike, at the Venturini cinema.
With the closure of the last remaining hall: the San Rocco, we are now
without cinemas, in a phase that sees the resumption of theaters, with exclusive films, after the acute phase of the pandemic.
But how did we get to this dead end?
First the invasion of commercial TVs (“come home in a hurry, there’s a snake waiting for you!”) and later the subscription platforms marked the end of the cinematographic ritual and the progressive closure of cinemas.
A sunset well told by Tornatore’s “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” and Ettore Scola’s “Splendor”.
A lost opportunity for socialization and culture both in the popular version and in the so-called “essay”:
Lugo was for a certain period a small capital of the Italian western (with characters dressed as Ringo and Django who burst into the smoky halls during the intervals), and then of its amusing parody with the series of “Trinità”, produced by the Lugo-born Italo Zingarelli.
But it was also a training ground for unrepeatable political and cultural debate, with encounters and clashes between different visions of the world, thanks to the cineforums that were held weekly at the San Rocco cinema, managed by Don Carlo Marabini.
Prof Mauro Bovoli animated the first reviews, subsequently managed by various associations, including the League for Peoples’ Rights with the cinema of Latin America and Eastern European dissent.
The decline of cinemas has been opposed in recent decades.
First with winter reviews at the San Rocco cinema by the ECO association:
The key evening in 2006 with Franco Battiato and Lucio Dalla who presented Battiato’s film “Musikanten” with two screenings that filled the room.
The winter festivals then moved to the Giardino cinema:
Here the top was reached by “The man who will come” by Giorgio Rights in a matinee for the silent students who participate in dialogue with the protagonist.
Then the summer reviews, first in the cloister of the Banca del Monte and then in the courtyard of the CRAI.
Now the summer season works in the beautiful Carmelite cloister of the former Capucci asylum.
But with the closure of San Rocco, Lugo is the only municipality in the area without a winter cinema.
The other neighboring municipalities have halls open for the weekend.
There is talk of a hall in the auditorium building.
And in the meantime?
Today there are films that are only released in theaters, snubbing the platforms.
Let’s take this opportunity.
An opportunity for socialization and culture necessary for our city.
We have a library, a literary café, exhibitions, a university…
we are the city of books.
Let’s go back to being the city of cinema too.
We honor our roots.
A winter without cinema is not sustainable.
Dear Mayor, urgently activate for an immediate winter season.
Find a temporary solution.
Don’t force us into tiring signature collections.
Cinema is art and culture that induces a demand for culture.
“ Leave the house in a hurry: there is a good film waiting for you”
Paolo Galletti, ECO association”