Walking into the projection room of Teatru Pandora in Żejtun is like walking straight out of a time machine. The room has been left in exactly the same way it was when the last film was shown on the 1st May 1983, down to the items left in the small kitchenette adjacent.
Newsbook.com.mt spoke to Joseph Agius who is a member of the new subcommittee within the Għaqda Banda Żejtun, focusing on art and culture. Their first project will be the reopening of projection room.
The theatre itself was designed by the late Edwin England Sant Fournier, father of architect Richard England. The building, which was used as both a theatre and cinema, now has a new lease of life as the Teatru Malta HQ.
“The site used to be a big citrus garden which was purchased by the band club way back in 1946,” Mr Agius explained, “This was just after the second world war; a lot of people were migrating, there were no jobs available and people who did used to work had to work long hours. So they had nowhere to go, and I think that this was the main reason that the band club decided to buy this garden and eventually turn it into a big theatre.”
The cinema eventually started operating in 1955.
Mr Agius explained that the theatre was specifically built to be one of the biggest and best cinemas in the southern region. It was very popular at the time with movies being shown daily, until 1983 when its popularity started to decline. However, the theatre remained active with theatrical productions up to this day.
The Teatru Pandora projection room will be open to the general public during Żejt iż-Żejtun which will take place on the 29th and 30th September. A short film about the theatre will also be shown.
For more information, visit the Għaqda Banda Żejtun Facebook page.
Filming: Miguela Xuereb
Editing: Coryse Borg and Miguela Xuereb