Cinema-Teatro Medica Palace
Via Montegrappe 9/2,
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The city of Bologna in central Italy is probably the most cinephile of all Italian cities and the Cinema-Teatro Medica Palace is its biggest classic one-screen cinema. The Cinema Medica was designed by architect Galliano Rabbi and built in 1925, opening in 1926 with 2,500 seats, which makes it certainly one of the oldest surviving cinemas in Bologna having resisted the competition from new multiplex cinemas built in the outskirts.
The cinema is a bit off the main high street of Bologna – Via Indipendenza – and situated under the archways of a building which also houses the Palace Hotel. The Cinema-Teatro Medica Palace is situated in a traditional cinema area which until recently boasted some of the most elegant and traditional cinemas of the city, like the Cinema Fulgor, Cinema Imperiale and the Cinema Metropolitan – all by now transformed into stores or closed.
The Cinema-Teatro Medica Palace is one of the last cinemas in this central area. It was remodeled in 1950, again to plans of the original architect Galliano Rabbi and has a large foyer, where you can sit down awaiting admission into the theatre. The auditorium is rather modern in style with black walls and very comfortable black seats. The auditorium is very vast both in length and breadth and includes an elegantly curved balcony, which, alas, was always closed when I frequented the cinema. The cinema has always been a premiere cinema – in Italian “cinema di prima visione” and in general shows the most “appealing”, i.e. crowd-attracting – films of the moment but at times also gives smaller productions a chance. The cinema is well frequented and won the “golden ticket” – biglietto d'oro – in the season 2010/11 for being the one-screen cinema with most ticket sales of a city of between 200,000 and 500,000 inhabitants.
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