“Pandemic blame and expensive bills”

No joyful laughter resounds in the room in front of the film that has been awaited for months, only silence. The projector has turned off, the film is over: the Igea Lido is at the end credits. After twenty years of activity, the historic cinema in via Ammiraglio Rizzo closes. First the crisis caused by Covid, between the closures and the lack of film production, then the increase in management costs and the expensive lighting have given the coup de grace to a situation that promised to be increasingly critical.

The last film was broadcast on the penultimate Sunday in July, then the screens went out. The shutters were lowered on the first day of August, just long enough to take away their papers and objects that have become relics in twenty years. “Things were going wonderfully until 2019 – he tells PalermoToday the owner Salvatore Cordaro -, we were full of hope and projects. Then the pandemic came and the boat started sinking. Film production has stood still for two years and we have no films to broadcast. Our businesses have also been somewhat mistreated. According to the prescriptions, for a long time it was not even possible to drink water in the room and I found myself forced to ask a mother to have her child drink outside in the garden “.

And if during the lockdown and in the following months the streaming platforms gave breath to those forced to stay at home because of the virus, they instead weighed down the already vacillating situation of cinemas. “The first years, at the beginning of 2000 – he continues – were a dream. There was a constant coming and going of people. The films were broadcast in one or two theaters throughout the city. Today eight are released at the same time and we can’t help but be affected “.

Then there is the increasingly pressing problem of expensive bills. “In three months we have had 400 percent increases – continues Cordaro -, and certainly we cannot turn off the lights, screens or air conditioners. The only possibility is to make cuts and so we have decided to close. But we are not giving up, nor leaving people at home “. The activities will continue and the residual resources will be concentrated, in fact, in the three halls of the Aurora cinema. “We managed not to fire anyone – adds the owner – and to transfer all our employees to Tommaso Natale, to the multiplex Aurora. Our staff has always been paid, we have also advanced the redundancy fund. We didn’t believe it, but they saved us. cartoons, such as the “Minions”, or Italian films such as Amelio’s ‘The Lord of the Ants’ “.

A situation, that of the Igiea Lido, which goes hand in hand with that of many cinemas in the city, and beyond. “In almost all cinemas – adds Cordaro who is also vice president of Anec (National Association of cinema exhibitors) – there has been a drop of 80%. We are doing our best, but we must have the products. We will resist. All “Aurora we have resumed with the film clubs. We will insist on children’s films and big releases. In the last few days we have seen our audience again, even if at 10 per cent but this still gives us hope. We will recover, I am sure, calmly , sacrifice and joy “.


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