REX Cinema - January 2011
The REX is a short, five-minute walk from Tema Station in Central Accra. I had spotted the vibrant façade a week ago when a tro-tro (local “public” transit) drove by on it’s way to the lorry park, but circumstances prevented my return until this week. On first look the Cinema appeared like it might still be in use—its exterior still bright like it was newly coated with paint and the door slightly ajar as if the proprietor had just stepped inside to get things prepared for that night’s screening. Excitedly I walked into the historic cinema. “Welcome. Sit down. It is God that has brought you here today.” Michael, Doris and another woman who left before I caught her name were seated in the lobby with their bibles at hand. The only sign that the building was once a cinema was just behind them—a popcorn machine now used to hold cartons of fresh eggs. I sat down and introduced myself. I explained that it was my curiosity about REX Cinema that actually had brought me there, but Michael insisted that it was all part of God’s plan. Perhaps it was.
On further inquiry about the cinema Michael informed me that it has been closed for 2 or 3 years but that it was to open again soon. I got the impression it was an indefinite type of soon. Apparently it functioned as a performing arts space for a time before its current use as a place to study the bible. I would have liked to see inside the actual theater but the door was locked and Michael and Doris were intent on getting me to stay and study the Good Word with them. I felt like if I were to stay I would be there until evening and I would never make it to Accra’s central post office to mail home a stack of very late Christmas postcards. So, I said farewell. Perhaps another time.
REX Cinema - circa 1969
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