The Story of an Era of the First Electric Cinema in Sarajevo

People coming out of streets and gathering on the Circus Square in Sarajevo in the evening hours. It is very loud and alive, numerous voices murmuring in silent excitement. The new century is near, just behind the corner, in a couple of years.

People are eagerly waiting at the doorstep of the twentieth century, in a city on the banks of the Miljacka River.

They are waiting for something unusual to happen in a small wooden hut. A movie. The magic of picture and magic of human skill.

He is also excited. Well, who would not be excited for the first date with a girl. And in such a place. Father’s friend, the owner of a well-known store, managed to get the tickets for the two of them. Awesome! Now he is waiting for her to show up. He put on the best jacket he had, his father gave him a cool scarf, and the cap on his head was pretty cool as well. He was feeling good. Then she showed up. Sparkle in her eye, wide smile, she approached him. They hugged and exchanged a few excited words.

Warm hearts in a cold Sarajevo night. They are just seventeen. They do not even notice the cold. They are walking towards people who are waiting in line and talking. Gentlemen with hats, ladies in dresses. Everyone talks, comments, nobody has ever seen something like that. They will watch a movie that night. It is black and white and lasts for a minute. But it does not matter. The girl and the boy sit down. They make themselves a bit more comfortable. A man plays a piano in the corner of the hall. The lights go off. The voices lower down. Everything stops. The magic begins. . . .

Around hundred years later, some 300, 400 meters closer to the center of the city, I am waiting for my girlfriend. There she comes, it is her smile. She approaches me. It is warm around my heart. And I am not usually all serious, but now I am smiling, just so, because I feel it. We are going to grab a cup of cafe, there is still some time left until the beginning. We will take some crisps as well and head to the movies. The first movie I watched was the cowboy “Vera Cruz”. I think that I was four years old, and my father took me to the cinema as a surprise. He did not want to tell me where are we going. After the movie, I experienced a real enthusiasm, there was no end to my happiness. My mother took me a couple of days later to watch “Tarzan Wins” in the First of May. And thus I became a movie fan!

Years went by. It is the summer of 2018. Warm days are here as well. It is really nice. It is late afternoon and I am standing in the city center in the same place as back then. But I am not waiting for the same girl with a beautiful smile. She is right next to me. We are waiting for our daughters to come out of the cinema…




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