MILAN Kol-cún, a history buff who regularly organises what he calls “roamings” through his home city of Košice, recently took a group of enthusiasts on a weekend tour of all the cinemas in the eastern metropolis, even to the sites of cinemas that no longer exist.
Kolcún told the TASR newswire that in addition to a stop at the City Cinemas multiplex, the group learned the history of older movie houses such as the Tivoli, Slovan, Partizán, Elite, Biorádio, Úsmev and Dukla. He said that the first screening of a film in Slovakia took place in Košice, on December 19, 1896, in the Schalkház Hotel. That was less than a year after the Lumiere brothers had presented the world's first paid movie screening.
Some former cinemas like the Amphitheatre, Uránia, Apollo, Elite, and the Garden Cinema (Záhradné kino) can only be seen now in historical photos. Other former cinemas still exist but are used for different purposes.
The Slovan cinema was the largest roofed filmhouse in Košice, with 734 seats, while the Amphitheatre had the biggest screen in all of the former Czechoslovakia, at 15 metres by 36 metres. Košice has a very tiny cinema as well – the Biograf theatre seats fewer than 60 people and screens art films.