Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Call for More Cinemas in Kano State

The Call for More Cinemas in Kano State

The most popular actor in #Kannywood, Ali Nuhu called for more cinemas in Kano state and other parts of northern Nigeria.

See Sharia Affected Cinema Culture In Northern Nigeria – Nuhu -

Two years ago, Sani Danja, one of the most celebrated actors and major stakeholder in Kannywood lamented the lack of standard cinemas in Kano, the commercial capital of northern Nigeria even though Kano has a more vibrant cinema culture than other cities in Nigeria, because of the popularity of Bollywood movies and Kannywood filmmakers have even dubbed Bollywood movies in their local Hausa language, the most popular local language in Nigeria and spoken all over northern Nigeria, northern Ghana, in Niger, Mali, Chad and Sudan where Hausa movies have made Kannywood (Kano film industry) a household name.

The best cinema in Kano and the rest of northern Nigeria is Film House Cinema, located at the Ado Bayero Mall. The cinema has six 2015 super digital model screens, including two 3D screens, 7.1 surround sounds, High Frame Rate (HFR) as well as 840 stadium luxury seats, among other state- of- the-art facilities.
The other cinemas are Farida Cinema and Marhaba Cinema.

The application for the first cinema in Kano and northern Nigeria was made in October 1937 by a Lebanese businessman for the construction of the Rex cinema, an open air movie theater adjacent to popular Sabon Gari market and later came other cinemas, including the Palace which opened on July 2, 1952, a year after the El Duniya burned down, but was shut in the 1980s, Queens Theater, Plaza, Orion, El Dorado, Wapa (named after the area where the cinema is located) and Marhaba. A formal ban was placed on the sale of alcohol at cinemas which is still existing today.

The following report from The Materiality of Cinema Theaters in Northern Nigeria by Brian Larkin for the Barnard College, Columbia University confirms the long years of an active cinema culture in Kano.

In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, Kano mainstream cinemas were dominated by British and American films. In the 1950s cinemas began screening the odd Egyptian and Indian film. By the mid-1960s Egyptian films had disappeared and Indian films had emerged as the most popular film genre (in northern Nigeria at least) though American and some English films were still highly popular. In the 1970s Hong Kong films began to gain in popularity. When I conducted my research in the 1990s Indian films were shown five nights a week at cinemas with one night for Hong Kong films and one night for American films (mostly cheap action films). African films have rarely been shown regularly on mainstream cinemas (the notable exception to this is in Nigeria is the case of Yoruba films - a small imperfect cinema which emerged from the Yoruba traveling theater tradition. For the most, part these films were not screened in mainstream theaters but in rented halls formerly used for theatrical performances.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Michael Chima Ekenyerengozi | IndieWire

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