On Wednesday, a film screening and a tour of the building commemorated the 110th anniversary of the cinema, which is now home to the Vojtina Puppet Theatre.

A building tour was held on Wednesday afternoon at the Vojtina Puppet Theatre, in the former Uránia building. The event was so well attended that the registration limit was filled days in advance. 

The former iconic cinema (which later became the Hungária and the Film Museum) was also commemorated in the Apollo cinema, which also has a history of more than a century,  from 7.00 p.m., the 1931 film Dracula was shown. On the occasion, Vojtina’s Director Anikó Asbóth welcomed the audience and urged everyone to enjoy the cinema experience in the cinemas as much as possible.

In his speech, István Puskás commemorated over a hundred years of Hungarian film production,  as he said a significant part of the works had been destroyed over the decades. The Deputy Mayor also pointed out that Béla Lugosi, the Hungarian title character of the horror classic, matured as an actor in Debrecen, the charismatic legend played in the city’s theatre, which did not yet bear the name of Csokonai, between 1908 and 1910.

Manager of the Apolló cinema, Tamás Fejér also addressed the audience, as he revealed, Mihály Kovács, who had been working in the city as a cinema technician for four decades, made sure that the screening ran smoothly. The specialist who lives under the spell of the cinema has also put together a small exhibition for the occasion of the birthday, which can be viewed in the forecourt of the cinema.

Before the story of the vampire count, a two-and-a-half-minute preview of the movie King of Cinema was screened,  the recordings were made in 1913, one year after the opening of Apollo cinema and one year before the opening of Uránia. Local historian Péter Horváth revealed interesting facts about the accompanying film and the history of Hungarian cinema, as he revealed, many recordings were destroyed over the years because silver could be extracted from the tapes, which was considered more valuable than films in difficult times.

The screening of Dracula put an exclamation mark on the fact that what was considered horrifying 90 years ago is comical to today’s viewer,  of course, we can overlook the special effects that seem a little clumsy today, but the theatrics and the contrived gestures make today’s viewer chuckle. We heard it, too, with many of our audience members laughing when Lugosi used his magic.

However, it remains undeniable that this is an outstanding piece of cinema history, and the character was stunningly played by the legendary actor, who died in poverty and as a heavy drug addict in Los Angeles in 1956.

Dracula is still an inescapable character within the genre, many people have tried to imitate the actor’s performance and his strong Hungarian accent in later vampire films.


Author: Debrecen4U