In a city like Lattakia, all movies theaters were located in the center or in “Down Town” and since all streets are named after the most famous things in them so “Cinema Dunia” was located in cinema Dunia Street, within fifty steps or more straight down there is “Cinema Al-Ahram”, so in a unsurprised way the descending street, looked like a steep passage , just like a tongue of a sleeping man, heading to “Cinema Ahram Street” which was opposite to cinema Al- Amir and renamed later as cinema Al- Kindi , right under them , another two movies theaters, the name of the first one perhaps or definitely is “ Shahrazad “ to be the first fantasy cinema then the other one, … I forget and my memory betrayed me too?
In Lattakia Street crossing Dunia Cinema , you can see “ Lattakia cinema “ just next to “ Ja’ara Ice cream shop ,a well know and famous Ice cream shop that when I send my Dr. friend I usually write on the envelop “next to Lattakia Cinema after Jaara Ice cream shop. Cinema Ugarrite was build after long time, a large and clean theater only in he first weeks, other movie theaters , were “cinema Shanata” and open air cinema which name I do not know and never did , since it was not important to me. Each movie theater had its own specialty and fans , Cinema Lattakia was specialized in Indian movies , there , our tears we shed like rivers and we could look at the kisses of birds in the courtesy of our mothers, we sung these movies songs such as Shaji Kapur and we rolled the stairs up and down dancing till our bodies faded out and turned into blue singing “ kahi mohi Jinkli kahe “ Aiya aiya suku suku “ making believe that we already learned Hindi language , moving our heads and playing with our eyes and leaving the theater with wet noses and soaring eyes, while Cinema Amir and Ahram were specialized in showing American and European movies which reached us very late as if they came by foot from America or Europe, Cinema Ugaritte remained for showing Arabic movies i.e. Arabic movies even some of us believed that if one speaks Egyptian accents or dialogues, he would be speaking the classic Arabic language . There were times and days dedicated for women only “prohibited to the men “ was written at a signboard in bold letters placed at the cinema entry. A well body built men with large muscles and big moustaches standing beside this signboard to stop any masculine irregularities from entering the theater and on their faces a hidden pride as they are the protectors and guardian of the town harim who could not go to the movies theaters without these previous warranties .
At women’s quota , movie theaters were like Turkish bathes and all that coming up steam and vapor was filled with quickly and lightly moving creatures , children noises running from one corner to another, even newly born babies who were crying and lulled , were silent all of the sudden when the screen was lit as if their mother’s breast’s fell down on their mouths to feed them, while mothers were dreaming that they are “Nadia Lutfi” or “Hind Rustum” or “ Suad Hussni and deeply in love driving motorcars and a man would approach them with a bunch of roses but why not ?? to live a place filled with maids and servants ,many dreams came to them while they were watching to the movies of Farid Al- Attrash or Farid Shawqi “the monster of the silver screen and Abdulhalim Hafez “Andalib Al-Asmar “and his father on the top of the tree. Even though, going to the movies, some one has to keep my company since girls are not allowed to go alone, even if they gained the full family’s confidence, then who will guaranty that when light is off, the girl will not escape to meet her beloved one, under the stairs and in a vacant building or in one far away neighborhood where she is known to no one.
At that times, girls had no place no go , except their house’s verandas or balconies or their windows . In Lattakia cinemas, George swimming club or teacher club which dedicated two hours from his precious rocks from eight till ten in morning in summer only for ladies , where all girls have to wake up very early to dress up in a hurry to go out, since men who are waiting behind the main gate, take stealthy looks at the women ‘s half naked bodies dreaming that a nymph will appear to them from the sea and her tail fell due to the water gravity beside in addition to their petitions, prayers and wishing which were definitely sincere and true. It must be long hours at the beach watching the shadows of women that most of them could make most beautiful movie, in particular to army men who crowded at the cinema entrance during their days off to feed their imaginations and deprivation with dreams and looks and why not if any one of them could touch a woman’s dress or touch her hand in the public crowd. Movies theaters remain the only place considered as a gathering for both men and women just the same as the Cornish in summer days but unfortunately even this bless vanished by demolishing some of the movie theaters and some became unpopular while a generation will grew up without knowing the charms and spell of this screen and his heart will not beat with its adventures and its berths and will not have memories about it and in it and to it. The cinema… that dimmed and lit theaters. I remember my anxiousness in that dotted corridor with yellow- eyed colors leading my indecisive steps on a stair that does not look like my home’s which seem to me long the hazy in front of the scrutinize looks from the people , to which leg I have to begin walking so as my steps will be come right forward and in harmony with my both arms that I did not how to move ,so my right arm to go with my right leg and the left arm to go with the let leg for a while till I regain my calmness. I had to count till ten and still I count to ten to face that cold fear or any other fears. The movies… that the theater dimmed and the lit.
I remember when dating a boyfriend in cinema Ahram, I went inside with a friend girl, a sworn witness whom was able to take the oath at the holy Quaran to protect me . my boyfriend was with another friend sat just right behind us . I do not recall the movie’s name, but all I can recall was that he started to pull my hair tenderly and gently with every kiss appeared on the screen favoring and dedicating that kiss to me . Then soon the large screen turned on my face and his, all actors and viewers disappeared, he pulled my hair strongly with pain as a mark of many strong kisses we watched and never tasted and which for unknown reason made me dizzy.
I was an ideal cinema fan and still , I lived up to the story till victory as all women of Ugaritte cinema’s , I cried, laughed, suffered, raged, applauded with fervor and enthusiasm when the hero comes to rescue the heroine , and I suffered and my day spoiled for not seeing a happy ending as I pleased , desired and wished. Cinema… that high big screen, dominates , overwhelms and sweeps you , while you in your small eyes and your history as a human being under its feet convicted in your free well , off course to become un able to move because the person who was sitting just behind you will complain and even will argue with you and shout if your head was higher from his eyes or if you just utter any word , you have to surrender to its charm and become a witness to a crime and you can’t middle , they entrusted you with big secrets which you can’t disclose and with all passing events, you would agree or disagree but you are exposed except in rare cases you leave the theater in the middle of the movie regretting the ticket you paid .
What is provide by the cinema , the great and grand cinema is beyond any price , it is the art , in all its aspects , civilization and multi- arts , whether poetry , music . painting, photography and all definitions that is not hidden from all of us. I owe to the cinema , the feelings , high laughter’s , crying , thoughts and the words of the first love letter I received which quoted from a movie , said by the actor to his lover “ that he will love her to eternity and what has god gathered will not separated by a man “ I did believe him strongly. The cinema and my memories about it, my datings inside its theaters and the ways of kissing that I was taught from , let me feel that I am losing my needs , deprivation and still. The cinema has not taught me only but it taught each one of us many things in our consciousness and unconsciousness, how we act , how we eat, how we play the game of love and how we play our roles in the cinema of life .