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The rise and fall of Guyana’s cinemas – Godfrey Chin

The rise and fall of Guyana’s cinemas

By Godfrey Chin

Nostalgia 456

As a nostalgia buff languishing in reminisces of our wonderful yesteryears – before Independence – the current demise of our cinemas is a total shock and a tragic disappointment.  Most of us were ardent movie fans, and cinemas played a major role in our maturation then. One must only wonder whether the demise of cinemas in Guyana has in some way resulted in the decay today of the current moral fibre of the nation.

Before the advent of talking pictures 1927 (Jazz Singer) and the first Academy Awards 1929, British Guiana had a prestigious movie palace called the Gaiety, at Brickdam and Camp Street, which was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1926. By 1930 the London Cinema on Camp Street had installed sound, and another cinema was in place in New Amsterdam. The Metro on Middle Street changed its name to the Empire to accommodate the Metropole, which opened with The Merry Widow (Maurice Chevalier/Jeannette McDonald, 1934). Empire’s first movie was the Prisoner of Zenda with Ronald Coleman. I was born that year, but gleaned that ‘nylon’ subsequently from my fabulous pamphlet collection. If I had brought them up to the States when I ‘exiled,’ man, I could have retired rich.    [Read more]

— Post #1420

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