Slovakia's "beard-winner" has 43 cm long facial hair
The fourth annual contest held to find Slovakia's longest beard took place on September 20 in this tiny village near the central Slovak town of Banská Štiavnica.
The growth from eleven other participants was no contest for the hirsute winner, Žilina's Anton Poštek ,38, who has won the contest every year since 1994.
His beard is now 43 centimeters long, having grown five centimeters since his triumph last year and assuring him the title yet again.
The second-place finisher was Ján Jakubík from Banská Štiavnica, with a 34-centimeter-long beard. The bronze medal was won by a Jozef Ďurica from Svätý Anton, who enjoyed home court advantage but finished four centimeters short of silver.
Asked why he decided to grow his beard, Ďurica said he was "too lazy to shave."
"Then I decided to shave it when the Russians left," Ďurica continued. "After that happened in 1991, I decided I was so used to my beard that I didn't want to shave it off."
After the contest, the competitors held court, dispensing their recipes for how best to maintain a long beard, including such tidbits such as how to wear it and trim it.
One of them suggested that "it should not be trimmed more than three times a year."
Movie theater faces dinosaur fate
This central Slovak town of 8,500 is going through hard times trying to keep its movie theater alive, much like other small Slovak towns. The movie theater in Liptovský Hrádok, which can seat 400 people, averages about 38 people per show.
"The problem is that movie prices are going up," said Ivan Šenšel, the director of the town's cultural center.
"In reaction to that, we were forced to raise ticket prices. In order to not raise them too often, we have decided to show only one movie a day," he added.
The launching of the private television station TV Markíza last summer stabbed an economic dagger to all small town movie theaters' hearts, Šenšel said. "Last summer, when Markíza started broadcasting, we had to cancel several days of movies, because there was no one who would come to the theater."
Šenšel said that in the first five months of 1997, 30 movie theaters around Slovakia were closed down due to lack of interest, adding that his movie theater is fighting for survival by designing various audience games. "For example, we give out a video tape to every 1,000th person that comes to the theater here," he said.
Compiled by Andrea Lörinczová from press reports.
9. Oct 1997 at 0:00