Category: Experience, Time machine

Aug 23

Cinematography in Split

We do not have reliable sources when exactly the first cinematographic performance in Split took place. According to some resources it was in 1900., according to others, a few years later (in 1903).

Cinematography in Split

Cinematography in Split We do not have reliable sources when exactly the first cinematographic performance in Split took place. According to some resources it was in 1900., according to others, a few years later (in 1903). Travelling cinema operators have already at the end of XIX. c. hold the performances in Dalmatia, so there's no reason not to believe that some of them visited Split as well. 

The first permanent cinema opened in Split, opened and held by Trieste resident from 1904. until 1908. Films have been projected in the cafe on the coast (Cafe al Porto). 
And then in 1906. 
Antonije Volić from Pula teamed up with businessman Josip Karaman from Split, employing operator from Wien Victor Wolf, at today's Poljana Vida Morpurga, began showing "moving pictures". 
But Volić, it seems, was a man of restless spirit and soon he left Split, and the cinematographic equipment he left to his partner Josip (Bepo) Karaman. Karaman organized the cinema projections in the Marmont street, in the same house where over days trained members of “Hrvatski sokol” . Evenings the workers posted the chairs and the hall was turned into cinema. 
Such "co-tenancy" lasted until 1908. when new National Hall with gym was built, and Karaman could adapt his hall exclusively for cinema performances. While remodeling rooms lasted, Karaman' has projected the films in his garden on Pistura. 
During those early years performances were held in the afternoon, a film repertory changed every third day. Spectators equally enjoyed the comedy, educational films, historical spectacle ("Spartacus") as well as in documentary films ("Pompeii", "The boats", "Travel trough France» ...). 
In Split, who was at the edge of the european cultural and political events, were very well received also the actual (film) news ("Great fire in New York," "Floods in Moscow," "Italian’s king visit to Greece," "Competition of aircraft in Berlin "...). Karaman, thus, by film selection, which he mainly brought from Trieste to Split, created and raised the film audience. Of course, originally all the movies were black - white, while the first color film, which he presented to Splt residents, was "The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ." Due to the success of the film, Karaman bought a copy, and projected the film several times each year in his cinema, and visited Dalmatia with its projections (Trogir, Omis, Sinj ....). 
In his cinema Karaman sell a special dessert, a special recipe of candied almonds, sold in packages made of the remains of celluloid film strip, and called it KINEMA BA. 
 After his death, the recipe is not renewed! The curious Split citizens flocked to the shows because the tickets were very affordable and popular. Sometimes they were booked because everyone wanted to be among the first to see the film and the next day, comment and retell. The film also created positive (democratic) atmosphere because there were, sitting shoulder to shoulder, farmers and rich citizens, lawyers and traders ... 
Only the "ladies with big hats," as often commented in the newspaper, interfered with enjoyment and provoked public outcry. 
The film has simply delighted the audience and it was not just “in-fashion” privilege or enjoyment in new technical wonder. 
Many have, already at that time, recognized the significance, the role and the universal language of film art, they knew that a good film provides not only fun but it educates and informs.

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