THE CINEMA AS PART OF THE SANATORIUM
The „Zdrowie” Cinema theater is a place with a unique history and tradition. It was part of the once-famous world-wide Dr. Brehmer sanatorium complex. The cultural program provided a much needed distraction for the patients being treated in Sokołowsko. The theater hall bordered on the “Bergland” hotel. On a wooden stage they held numerous performances and recitals, and musicians played live music from the orchestra pit. After the war the repertoire expanded to film screenings and meetings within the framework of the Polish Federation of Film Societies. There were also social gatherings, occasional performances, and concerts by youth bands.
Soon we will share with you stories and recollections of those who witnessed these events.
REACTIVATION OF THE “ZDROWIE” CINEMA
Film screenings and in depth discussions about cinema will become a regular part of Sokolowsko’s repertoire of cultural events on April 29th. The reactivated „Zdrowie” cinema theater will be the 13th cinema belonging to the Network of Studio and Local Cinemas (Sieć Kin Studyjnych i Lokalnych) in Lower Silesia, thus putting Sokołowsko on the same tier as Wrocław, Wałbrzych, Lubin or Złotoryja.
What kind of repertoire can one expect?
We will screen the best, ambitious films of the season, the laureates of the Berlin, Cannes and Venice festivals, and other most commented upon titles of the last few months. One very important part of the program, will be special events – on the one hand talks about films with participating experts, harking back to the tradition of the Film Society in Sokołowsko, and on the other hand meetings with the creators of the films themselves, as well as educational screenings for the youth.
Screenings are scheduled for spring and summer weekends, to fill Friday and Saturday evenings with ambitious cinema and discussions surrounding it.
Every year in September, since 2010, the „Zdrowie” Cinema is home to a film festival, dedicated to the life and work of Krzysztof Kieślowski.
In the years 1951-1960 Krzysztof Kieślowski lived in Sokołowsko. He had fond recollections of the cinema, among others, in his autobiography. One can only speculate, whether this experience impacted his subsequent career choices. Due to a lack of money, the young Krzysztof and his friends watched most of the screenings through a vent in the roof of the cinema. They could only glimps parts of the screen from up there. That’s why they gave vent to their anger and frustration… by spitting on the heads of the audience below them.
In the middle of 1951, Krzysztof Kieślowski’s parents moved to Sokołowsko, where Roman Kieślowski was treated for tuberculosis. They left this sanatorium town after less then a year, only to move back soon after, leave again, and in the end settle there for longer.
Their first apartment was in a building on Słoneczna 3. Krzysztof attended the local primary school. On his 4th grade graduation diploma, his grades ranged from very good to good, with one sufficient – singing class. The future directors father was let go from his job due to relapse of tuberculosis. This round of treatment lasted twelve months, and took place in multiple facilities – including Siewierz, Sokołowsko, Strzemieszyce, Rabka, Bukowina Tatrzańska, Wisła and Warsaw.
Krzysztof Kieślowski started the 1952/53 school year once again in Sokołowsko. A picture from 1952 shows him speeding on his bicycle, his feet off the pedals, one foot on the upper frame, the other high up in the air. Another photo shows his father, when 42 years of age, attempting the same stunt with lesser results. Yet another photo captured the image of Roman Kieślowski sitting on the handlebars, attempting a 3 person ride on the same bike – with his son and daughter. This was one of the hallmark moments of their happy childhood in Sokołowsko.
In 1953 the family moved into a two floor tenement house on Główna 22, across the street from the „Zdrowie” cinema. Krzysztof attended sixth grade primary school – with breaks for treatment in the preventatorium – in Mieroszów, located 6 kilometers from Sokołowsko. He graduated in mid 1955. Kieślowski returned to Sokołowsko later on, to visit his father’s grave, about which he wrote in a letter to his mother. In 1973 he visited once again, this time to film a documentary titled „X-ray”, in the very sanatorium where his father was treated.