Art Cinema in Zagreb to Be Replaced by a Burger King?

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“The Grič Club Cinema has ceased its operations after 75 years. Thank you for your loyalty and for your visits.” This is a message posted on the building at 6 Jurišićeva Street in Zagreb, where the Grič art cinema was operating until just last week. The news has saddened numerous fans of films, but also other citizens of Zagreb who mourn the loss of one of the last old cinemas in the city, reports Večernji List on January 16, 2019.

“We could not do anything, because the building in which the cinema is located was denationalized several years ago and returned to the descendants of the owners who have now sold it. The new owner does not want to have a cinema in this space,” says art cinema director Ina Čavlina. In order to continue with the film programme, they are looking for a new venue.

“The cinema requires a large venue that is difficult to find in the city centre. But we are determined to continue with the screenings,” says Čavlina, adding that the primary source of revenue, which enabled them to operate, were grants they received from the Europa Cinemas association.

The cinema could not have operated just with the ticket proceeds, as the entrance fee they charged was only 15 kuna. The building is in bad condition, says Čavlina, and requires a thorough restoration effort.

What will happen with the building constructed in 1940 is still unknown, but the art-cinema representatives say that there is unofficial information that the building will house a small hotel, as well as an outlet for the Burger King fast-food chain. Many citizens believe that would be a shame since it would completely destroy one of the symbols of the capital city. The building was designed by famous architects Drago Ibler and Stjepan Planić, and the cinema changed many names in its history, from Rex and Kleka to Kosmaj.

In 1990, it was renamed Grič, while in 2012 it was taken over by the Culture Club association, with Ina Čavlina as director. It initially screened independent films from the whole world, while in recent years it focused more on European films.

More film news from Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Petra Balija).


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