People of the UAE have always been fond of entertainment, especially when it comes to movies. Apparently, movie theaters have been a thing in the Emirates since the 1940s; more specifically open-air ones.
Earlier this week, photos capturing a Sharjah cinema dating back to 1943 were posted on Twitter by writer Shamma Al Bastaki. Captioning the historic images, Al Bastaki wrote:
"For those who didn't believe me when I told them the UAE (Trucial States) had cinemas in the 40s. Sharjah, 1943."
The cinema is said to have been located in a military camp based in Sharjah but was often opened to the public.
The resurfaced images of it are now circulating online and nostalgia is in the air.
The photos are a revelation
"This is really cool"
To some, they evoke memories
"Wish there were more"
Cinema has always been popular in the country
Though multiplexes and huge cinema theaters are now the most popular options for moviegoers in the UAE and the Arab world, things were quite different decades back.
In the 40s and way up to the 60s, people in the UAE enjoyed visiting open-air cinemas. The film experience at the time was quite like no other. Speaking to Gulf News, Ahmad Golchin, one of the first film distributors in the country, shared details of it, saying:
"The public's expectations from a cinema were few. All that was needed was a large wall painted white and a projector and it would run full house."
"One of my earliest movie experiences in Dubai was at the Rex cinema on Al Khawaneej Road which was popular with families who would arrive with picnic baskets and let the little ones run around while enjoying the film on mats or in cars with piped-in air conditioning," he added.
As time passed, the movie-going experience kept on developing and has today become as advanced as it gets, with cinemas offering VIP seats and 3D screening experiences.