With the summer spot-scene “Park”, the older citizens of Skopje had the opportunity to recall of their “old days”, and of their youth, when, with the great curiosity, and with their eyes wide open were swallowing the film repertoire offered by this summer cinema, and those who didn’t know this romantic film area because of their age, now did discover a new summer spot to attend.
For a long time I was wondering what is the „Parks and Greenery” to Saško Nasev for? A good drama writer, he even had an excellent scenario for a film (I mean, of course, about the film SUICIDE GUIDE). And even then I knew – that even the grass and the flower – are CULTURE. And here: in that quest for the new (and the real) relation between the man and nature, Saško Nasev and Aco Dukovski – Dukac (the Manager of CITY CINEMAS – Skopje) found themselves on the same „wave-length”. That’s how – A CINEMA happened to us!
So, on 6th of July 2000 (after 20 years) the cinema-projectors started again – in the summer cinema “Park”. With “Erin Brokovich” (with the gorgeous Julia Roberts), at 21:00h. Before that, we took a walk by the Fountain, and through the first section of the City Park. In front of the Summer Scene-spot: congratulations and joy… Panta Mizhimakov had a remark that there is no boiled corn: “What is a summer cinema without a boiled corn?” Aco Dukovski – Dukac promised that the corn would be provided in future, like that’s a part of the CITY CINEMAS obligation…? My friend Mimi showed us the spot where she was seating the night before she gave her first birth. Orce is recalling where exactly was the place of the old ticket booth. I was telling the story how I tried, many years (and decades) ago, to climb a tree near by to see the Cubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. In other words – I didn’t manage to buy myself a ticket, nor I succeeded to climb that tree – either. But, on the other hand, I did mange to see (in TOD-AO system) the “Tchaikowski” and „Lika, the great love of Chekhov”. It was a long time ago, sometime in the 70’s. But the opening day of the Summer Scene in the City Park was even before that.
So we are going back to the 1950. Namely, on 28th of June that year, on the occasion of “The Week of National Culture”, the Summer Scene in Skopje City Park was opened for the public. On that occasion, the film “Lake” was screened (producer Zvezda Film – Belgrade, director Radivoe – Lola Djukic). The intention was – screenings on daily basis (excluding the weekends – days reserved for other cultural events). The Summer Scene had 1.166 seats. I recall, those were long rows of wooden green benches with arm-holders. After the solemn Opening of the Summer Scene, on the 1st of July the regular screening began. The first film of the regular repertoire was “Unforgotten Song”, the biographical film on the life of Shopen. The role of this great composer was played by Cornel Wild, and the director of this truly unforgettable film was Charles Widor. During “the life” of this Summer Cinema, the complaints were made mostly on the behalf of the noise that young people were making, hanging on the trees nearby the Cinema…
The Summer Cinema in Skopje City Park “lived in sequels”: now opened, now closed… And when, 20 years ago it was closed again, we all thought that this is definite end of it.
The Scene turned into a dump, the seats, the big screen and the projectors were token into some warehouse. No one had any hope that the Summer Cinema “Park”, the cinema of our youth, will work ever again! But here, the faith had its own plans and got my generation back to this cinema, not only to take a walks through the City Park and the Luna-park with their grand-children… Of course, not only my generation, but also the younger one, even the youngest, too. And that’s how – A CINEMA happened to us. In those tropical temperatures, a small breed of cool wind did managed to blow a little through the Summer Cinema. And the screening is of solid quality; the sound – too. Anyway, the architectural project was made – by the all standards – for a CINEMA OPEN THEATER.
And that’s why seems strange to me – the insisting on the summer COFFEE-CINEMA, which with a little delay started in the café Museum, by the City Skopje Museum. For a real summer cinema, there is more than spreading the white screen, putting the projector in front of it, and start with the screening. Because, what about the acoustics? It’s a shame to waste copies of good movies in an improvised ambient.
That’s why the opening of the Summer Cinema in the City Park was, undoubtedly, one of the major events in this (hellish like) cinema summer.
And may it be with luck!
Translated by: Petar Volnarovski