Going to the movies in Pristina

Published on 14 August 2018


Kino ABC, theatre |  Flickr

Kino ABC, theatre | Flickr

It may not look like much, but this is the theatre of the Kino ABC cinema in Pristina, Kosovo. I visited this very nice cinema in November 2017 and watched Kenneth Branagh's take on the Murder on the Orient Express together with 19 other guests, all very well behaved and fully compliant with the Wittertainment Code of Conduct.

To be honest, the film wasn't very good and and I found that this new version didn't really add anything at all to the story. But then again I've never found the story compelling; it has always seemed much too farfetched that the villain, who wronged so many people in such a bad way, would not have just left the train at the first possible station having seen that those very individuals are on the train. It's a massive movie twist that's too unrealistic to be any good.

The movie was projected in English with Kosovo Albanian subtitles superimposed in a slightly greenish field at the bottom of the screen. Coming from Sweden where we subtitle rather than dub, I didn't mind this at all, but it became hilarious when, after a short while, the subtitles became completely out-of-sync with the on-screen dialogue. And then, halfway through the film, the subtitles ceased all together.

I had brought my camera to the cinema in the hope that I might be able to photograph the location after the film. So afterwards I spoke with Feid, the friendly usher/projectionist/janitor, who kindly agreed to let me photograph. He was unhappy about the multiplexes – there's at least one in Pristina – which, he said, "destroy for real cinemas". I shot the above photograph in the theatre, leaning the camera on one of the seats because I hadn't brought my travel tripod.

The following three show the cinema's entrance, the ticket booth and the entrance to the theatre. As you can see, I used different films. The first two are on expired Kodak Portra 400VC which I exposed at EI100 (I typically expose all my colour negative films 1-2 stops over). The third one and the one at the beginning were shot on Fuji Provia 400X (also expired, exposed at box speed).

Entrance |  Flickr

Entrance | Flickr

Ticket booth | Flickr

Ticket booth | Flickr

Theatre entrance |  Flickr

Theatre entrance | Flickr

The cinema also has a bar and lounge area. As I didn't have my tripod, I shuffled around one of those tall bar tables one stands around. The projectionist Feid was very understanding, which helped a lot since, as you can see above, I shot these photos fairly late and he probably just wanted to call it a night. The first two below are Kodak Portra 400VC and the last one Fuji Provia 400X. The film rolls were scanned on a Hasselblad Flextight X1.

Bar |  Flickr

Bar | Flickr

Bar area |  Flickr

Bar area | Flickr

Lounge area |  Flickr

Lounge area | Flickr

This article would not be complete without a photo showing the outside of the cinema and its surroundings. For all photos I used my Hasselblad 203FE in aperture priority mode with the Hasselblad Carl Zeiss 40mm Distagon f/4 CFE.

Surroundings |  Flickr

Surroundings | Flickr