There are many things us people of Dubrovnik are good at. Recognizing and preserving what's best about our local culture at times doesn't seem to be one of those things. There are many examples I could write about, but I chose one that is close to my heart.
I am a great lover of movies. Much like food, I enjoy socialising over movies and love the variety and the wealth of their world. My absolutely favourite way to enjoy them in Dubrovnik was always in one of our so called “summer cinemas“. These are open air movie theatres where people can watch movies under the clear night skies, all the while sipping a refreshing drink and eating hot popcorn. Throw in the mix a company of a loved one or a group of good friends and you have the makings of a great evening.
I recall three of these summer cinemas in our fair city, but the one I enjoyed the most was “Jadran Summer Cinema.“ Located in the very heart of the Old City centre, this magical place is sandwiched between old houses usually adorned by someone's unmentionables hanging on the clothes line. Jadran Cinema always had the world's most uncomfortable chairs, but the movie watching experience you would enjoy there was unparalleled. From the auditorium you can see the top of Mount Srd with its 19th century Imperial fortress in the background and the Church of St. Rocco, just behind the big screen. The entire movie going experience often seemed surreal because of the centuries' old surroundings.
It was always a very special experience to be at Jadran, which exists to this day, but rarely is it used anymore as an auditorium, even more scarcely as a movie theatre. The situation with other open air cinemas in Dubrovnik, “Lapad” and “Slavica“, is even worse. These beautiful places, perfect venues to enjoy on a warm summer night, now lay mostly stationery, probably waiting for someone's boring construction project of an apartment building or a restaurant. The whole thing is very indicative of a decline and slow disappearance of local culture in Dubrovnik, something that's left out of the travel brochures.
There are so many wonderful spots in Dubrovnik that are special because of the role they played in the lives of us locals. We still have most of these places within our grasp, but we don't use them anymore as though we don't recognise how much they meant to us. As a community, we are often blind to the matters of the soul and spirit.
We are to blame for thinking and acting following only our hunger for quick profits, not realising we are robbing ourselves in the process and leaving ourselves truly poor. How else can you describe people who willingly substitute watching movies in the heart of the medieval town under billions of stars for dreary halls with wall to wall carpeting, plywood walls and overpriced snacks?
Bozidar Jukic is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page. www.insiderholidays.eu www.facebook.com/insiderholidays