Long-running Tartu cinema shuts up shop forever

Ekraan cinema in Tartu
Ekraan cinema in Tartu Source: Joakim Klementi

An iconic Tartu cinema is to close its doors for good, after 60 years of operations, ERR's culture portal reports.

The movie theater, Ekraan, on Riia 14, is to close due to a lack of attendance, even before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Forum Cinemas, the venue's operator, told portal Geenius (link in Estonian).

The cinema opened in 1961, at a time when the Soviet Union was pulling ahead of the west in areas such as missile and space exploration capabilities. The cinema retained its trademark Soviet era name (Ekraan means "screen") – reflecting, intentionally or otherwise, that culture's apparent penchant for mononomial names which describe in a very literal way a facility's function – down to the present.

It had been operated by the Forum Group since 1998. Forum told Geenius that Ekraan's closure does not affect any of its other outlets.

While a fixed closure date was not reported, Forum said that equipment had already been removed from the venue, and staff lay-offs had taken place.

At the time of writing, all cinemas in Estonia are still closed, under the current coronavirus restrictions, which are set to run until April 25 as things stand.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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