The only cinema in the Fürth district survived the pandemic year with a black eye –
02/23/2021 4:00 p.m.
Good question: when the curtain will open the screen again, Lichtspiele boss Bernd Jordan doesn’t dare to predict. Donations and free state bonuses help the small cinema to stay afloat. 2021 will also be a tough year.
Photo: Photo: www.lichtspiele-grosshabersdorf.de
The plays of light in Bachstrasse are unique. The small village cinema has been owned by the Jordan family since 1952. Since there is only one hall, the program is handpicked, with children’s and family cinema, little action, a lot of film art.
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“Our visitors come from a radius of around 20 kilometers,” says operator Bernd Jordan. “They appreciate the family atmosphere and that they are not seen as customers, but as guests.”
It goes without saying that the pandemic is really affecting such a small company. “The first lockdown caught us off guard,” says Jordan. “We didn’t even know how to keep in touch with our guests.”
That is why business started sluggishly in the summer despite the newly installed Plexiglas panes between the chairs: “We were only allowed to open with a maximum of 25 percent occupancy. That is not profitable with a hall for a hundred people.”
Streaming services are becoming dangerous competition
At the same time, there was and is a threat that the audience would migrate to streaming services: “If people get used to watching new films at home, that would be a disaster for us.”
But the family didn’t give up. After all, Bernd Jordan had given up a well-paid job at a large company a few years ago to keep the light show going: “I followed my heart!”
From autumn onwards, the cinema drew attention to itself again with creative campaigns: teddy bears, which sat in front of the screen to represent the audience and were then auctioned off, or a long plush snake chain in front of the entrance were eye-catchers. By the way, all cinema teddies found a new home before Christmas.
These are amazing guests
But the fans didn’t stop there. A donation campaign on the “Startnext” platform raised 10,000 euros for the survival of the house – within 24 hours. “I would have thought it would take months. Our guests are really amazing,” says Jordan happily. “They also always write to us or paint pictures with good wishes.”
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The Free State also helped: a few weeks ago it doubled its funding program for regional cinemas and also paid an extra premium for particularly committed theaters. A total of 148,000 euros flowed into the city and district of Fürth. 10,000 went to Großhabersdorf.
The Jordan family is still active there. Tickets for an experience called “Cinema for Two” can currently be pre-ordered. With this promotion, a couple can rent an entire hall for themselves. The tickets can be redeemed as soon as the lockdown is over.
A competition for children is in progress
There is also a competition for children: anyone who makes a film with clay figures can send it to the Lichtspiele – it will then be shown in the opening act of a children’s film. By the way, “Konrads Knetfilm-Tutorial” reveals how a stop-motion clay figure film can be made on the cinema website (www.lichtspiele-grosshabersdorf.de)
Fürth cinema history: from the boom of the 50s to today
From the old flea cinema to the magnificent Alhambra, from the camera to the Bambi: there were times when cinemas in Fürth experienced a real boom, you could choose from numerous offers in the most diverse corners of the city. Between 1949 and 1953, the cinema scene literally exploded. Our picture gallery delves into the local cinema history.
Otherwise, in the 70th year of the Lichtspiele’s existence, only fingers crossed. It won’t be easy in 2021 either. “The culture industry has too few lobbyists,” says Jordan. “That is why we are probably the ones who are allowed to open last. What we must hope for is the summer and the opportunities to do open-air cinema.”
When cinemas were still palaces: the history of Nuremberg cinemas
Before there was streaming, DVDs, VHS and even television, people had to go to the cinema to see a film. Today most of the “cinema palaces” no longer exist. The dream workshops in Nuremberg at that time are only captured in pictures.