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In Farosund, on the northern coast of the Swedish island of Gotland, the Roy Bio opened on 13th October 1940, with 255 seats.
Local merchant Gustaf Nystrom had initiated the project in 1938, but the outbreak of war led to construction being halted. Tage Eriksson, a young builder working at the nearby military base, noticed the half-completed building and made an agreement with Nystrom that he would continue the work in his free time. In the event, he got additional leave from his military duties and was able to call in more workers, so the building was completed quite quickly. In addition to the cinema, there are eight apartments.
From 1972 until 1984 Gotland’s Coastal Artillery, KA 3, used the cinema to show films to service personnel. After that, it was closed until 2002, when it was acquired by Deisy and Bengt Nilsson. (At some stage the original wooden seats had been replaced by rather more comforable ones, reducing the seating capacity to 146). On 1st January 2017 by Christer and Anette Gjorloff Wingren. They live on the mainland, in southern Sweden, but Anette, who is a bio-chemist, was born in Farosund and has family there. I believe they bought the building as an investment, but they are determined to run the cinema as a successful business.
The Barco digital projector was a second-hand purchase. The cinema operates 2-3 days a week during the summer; they are hoping to develop screenings outside of this main period: at the time of my visit, in August 2018, their next show was due to be “Johnny English Strikes Back”, starring Rowan Atkinson, on Friday 2nd November.
In a nice touch, a now-redundant Bauer B6 35mm projector is on display in the foyer.
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