Yesterday, we had an excursion with our Ghent University Master students in Film and Television Studies. In the morning, we went to visit the Flemish public broadcaster VRT in Brussels. In the afternoon, we visited the great Film Theaters exhibition at the Caermersklooster in Ghent. The exhibition has two parts: one with beautiful contemporary photographs (by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre) of USA movie palaces from the first half of the 20th century that are now in decay, and one on the lively film theater culture in Ghent.
This ‘Ghent cinema city’ exhibition was made possible by Lies Van de Vijver and Daniel Biltereyst, both from the CIMS research group to which I belong (Centre for Cinema and Media Studies, Ghent University). It shows the long and rich cinema history of Ghent, with more than 70 film theaters and many more fascinating stories – from the fire in the erotic cinema Leopold and the collaboration history of the movie palace Capitole to the story of the very first and trendsetting real multiplex cinema in Europe. Until 3 January 2016, you can visit it in the Caermersklooster, but this great exhibition definitely deserves a permanent place somewhere in Ghent!