In Memoriam

The Turmpalast closed a few weeks ago.

While this will not mean much to those of you who’ve never been to Frankfurt, it comes as something of a shock to me. Not an entirely unexpected shock – rumours of imminent closure have been thick for years now – but I always used to think that it would be sometime soon, maybe next month or in the fall, but not now.

The Turmpalast – sixty years old, never really renovated in all that time, dirty, decrepit – has been my cinema of choice, the only English-language cinema in town, for more than ten years. It is hard to guess at the exact number, but I would estimate that I have seen far more than 2000 movies there during that time. Some were bad, some were good, and a lot of memories are connected to its cheesy, red-carpeted halls that always seemed to be so much more appropriate for an adult cinema. There was the randy old lady that wouldn’t stop talking about Antonio Banderas and how they never had any sex in movies when she was young during Original Sin. There was my twentieth birthday when I lost my brand-new cell-phone during a Sneak Preview. Or that other Sneak, where a totally drunk local celebrity (Captain Jack Durban) kept yelling and hollering throughout the movie. Or the day we tried to watch Jumper and the movie ripped about twenty times before we gave up and asked for a refund.

As I said, not all the memories are good. But I saw a lot of nice  movies there, and my English wouldn’t be half as good as it is today if it hadn’t been for the Turm, so I guess I owe the place. There is another English-language cinema in Frankfurt now, all shiny and new, so from now on we’ll be able to watch movies in style, albeit for twice the money. But the Turmpalast… the Turmpalast was always there and the city will feel strange now that it is closed. And no matter how run-down it was at the end, I will  still be sad that it’s gone.

So goodbye, Turmpalast. You will be missed.

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