Le cinéma Scala : souvenirs de jeunesse

Per: Alice JOUNDI  

MEMORY It was before television, prior to the DVD, from the time when the Souiris went to the cinema to see a good movie. At the foot of the ramparts of Essaouira, the "Scala" made the happiness of many generations. Now closed, only his sign and intact memories of those who attended testify of a place which is still the symbol of an era.

Essaouira was a cinema, it was even two: the Scala and the gir which shared programming. The Scala, created during the forty by David Kakon, the "old" remember very well. It is with emotion that they recall what was in their view only and the first "true cinema" of Essaouira. All stories: the entrance to the staircase, the armchairs at the foot of the screen, the balcony, the loges where the more affluent had their seats, and the small café where sipped a lemonade and bought a few cigarettes after the meeting. Less than two dirhams instead, it went to the Scala between friends to spend the whole afternoon: two films, an intermission, and the time passing quickly. 'Four hours was too short'.

Women, men and children inflated the queue before the window where the tickets were selling like hotcakes. So it sometimes sold places of cinema under the mantle for more than ten times their price.

An opening on the world

Poster, westerns, classic French cinema, Bollywood and the Egyptian productions were as many promises of evasion. Today, the "regulars" of the Scala willingly Gin cotton the names of those who made them dream, laugh or cry: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Clarke Gable, Rita Hayworth, or even Jean Gabin and Fernandel for most French of them... In the eyes of those moviegoers it guess a lot of nostalgia, but also proud to have known the time of a popular cinema in Essaouira. All pay homage to the glory of a place and a State of mind. Because the film was not only a place of amusement, was also an opening to the world. Indeed for some French learned on the benches of the Scala, repeating dialogue and was the best scenes.

No one imagined that with the arrival of television, the Souiris abandon the obscure rooms to join their salons. Resold and then abandoned, the Scala diminishing to finally close its doors 20 years ago.

Listening to their testimony, easily share the regret of these orphaned inhabitants of their cinema. Yet each maintenance ends on a same note of hope and dream that one day to Essaouira a new facility regain the torch of the Scala, and allows enthusiasts to the big screen with the "real" cinema of yesterday and today.

Text Alice Joundi

Photo DR.