Together with his niece Jolanda Cirillo—the famous opera singer, Erardo Lugaresi (1874-1968) built in 1910 a cinema next to the family villa on the beach of Bellaria. Mr. Lugaresi himself was an inventor, photographer and philanthropist that had come to the small fishing village Bellaria to set up a summer residence, like many other rich Italian families at the turn of the century.
Cinema-Teatro Apollo was in the 1910's not only a place where one would be brought to tears and to laugh, it served as a meeting point for an entire community. Some admit to have fallen in love here and the memories of the large bi-fold rear doors that would open to the sea after each screening are still fresh with the elder residents of today’s Bellaria. The endless rows of plastic deck chairs and parasols now block the view as a result of tourism. Its' peak in the 80's, resulting in innumerable hotels and a strip mall with multiplex cinema, came as final blow to Cinema Teatro Apollo.
Long before closing the cinema in 1982, Mr. Lugaresi’s son, Giuseppe, had set up shop behind the projection screen where he successfully hand-built wooden speedboats and ran a photographic studio. He continued until his death in 2000 and soon, the cinema became storage for family heirlooms, old furniture and boats. Today, Cinema-Teatro Apollo still stands within a sea of hotels, perhaps trying to remind us of another time.
A group of artists* spend four weeks in Bellaria in May 2013, restoring the cinema and creating an inventory of items related to the site. This initial phase culminates in a three-day re-opening of Cinema-Teatro Apollo, showing a program of movies relating to cinema as well as curated programs by Kinothek Asta Nielsen and Home Movies Bologna. What’s more, the experiments in film carried out by Mr. Lugaresi will be screened in his own cinema for the first time ever.
Via Muggia 16, 47814 Bellaria Igea Marina, Italy
Re-opens 31 May - 2 June 2013
*Christin Berg, Benedikte Bjerre, Oscar Carlson, Andreas Bulow Cosmus, Ian Edmonds, Natasja Loutchko John Skoog, Giovanni Sortino, Marcello Spada.
The work continues at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, where an exhibition will act as a new tool and mirror to the objects, stories and memories collected in Bellaria.
Schaumainkai 37, 60594 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Exhibition 10 July - 11 August 2013