Friday, October 20, 2006

Save Kino-Palatsi!

Living in Tampere, it has been depressing to witness how traditional old movie theatres here have gradually vanished and been replaced by bland multiplexes running mostly mindless American popcorn blockbusters. I often wax nostalgic for such local yesteryear cinemas as Adams, Hällä, Häme, Ilves, Olympia, Petit, Pirkka and Royal, which formed an important part of my own cinematic education. These places have all now been closed and turned into nightclubs or even traditional theatres. (At the time of writing this, the demolition of the house of Petit at Hämeenkatu has begun; another office building coming to its place.)

One of these important movie theatres of my formative years was also Kino-Palatsi of Tampere, built in 1928, one of the oldest cinemas in Finland which so far has retained its original style with lavish interiors. Kino-Palatsi actually ceased its activities as cinema in 1991 but has even since worked as one of the important venues for the annual Tampere Short Film Festivals. Now Kino-Palatsi faces the threat of being transformed into another nightclub owned by club entrepreneur Sedu Koskinen. Sign the petition at to save Kino-Palatsi and an indispensable piece of Tampere's cultural history.

One of the nude figurines by Väinö Rautalin surrounding Kino-Palatsi's silver screen. Though probably intended to give a very artistic impression, at least to this youngster with a vivid imagination (and probably to many other people, too), these naked couples frolicking in various different positions always curiously looked like some scenes from Kama Sutra...

Links: (in Finnish)

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