Saturday, 28 January 2012

Corfu then and now 7: The Palace film theatre

   It is a phenomenon of our times: many film theatres had been closed down because fewer and fewer people prefered to watch a film at the cinema. The reasons? Firstly, it was the growing popularity of video clubs in the early 80s but the second and most fatal one, was the illegal internet downloading. Nowadays, quite a few people spend their night out at the movies. 
   One victim of that crisis, was Palace film theatre on Georgiou Theotoki street. As far as I remember, it was the biggest cinema in town. It closed down in late 1998 to become a "Marks & Spencer" shop which, in my opinion, it is of low quality compared to those found in Britain. The Palace theatre had been used as a concert venue as well. As late as the early 90s, many local wind bands and orchestras performed there, as an alternative venue to that of the Municipal theatre across the street. 
  I loved the neon sign with the theatre's name written in greek using a kind of font popular in the 60s. That neon sign survived intact until its last day. The last movie I watched there was the 1998 film "Great Expectations" starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethen Hawke but I will never forget the long queues that blocked the central throughfare traffic when "Titanic" was screened. 
   Below, there is a vintage 1960s picture showing the film theatre with people outside waiting for the next screening and a second one showing the site as it is today,

   I found a third photo showing a bit of its interior, as it was in the 70s during an electional campaign.

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