Hello folks, thanks for joining us again on our Opinion piece. Our regular contributor Iyaafin is back again and her contribution this week is about the decline of the stage play and the evolution of the cinema in Ibadan. Read and enjoy it.
I say this without a hint of hesitation and I am sure nobody can argue with me that the stage play is one of the oldest means of entertainment in Nigeria. Indeed everyone who has never watched a play live on stage, especially in those days when the art form was a staple of the Nigerian entertainment scene, will agree that the originality,the arts and the rich cultural display that comes with the stage play are second to no other art form.
Back in the early to late eighties and nineties, when we were younger, the centres of attractions in the city of Ibadan were the big and famous cinemas in the city . The likes of KS Cinema in Total Garden, Baba Sala Cinema in the Agbowo shopping complex, Queens Cinema in Dugbe, Odion Cinema in Oke Ado and Cultural Centre,Mokola.
Where are they all today?
Most of them are extinct and cannot be resuscitated, due to the fact that their death in the first place was due to poor management. Today, all of these famous cinemas have either been turned to shopping complexes,churches or just abandoned completely.
The decline of cinemas and theatres in Nigeria in the early nineties was due to the advent of home videos. The ease of access that home videos had (You could sit in your house and watch movies instead of having to go to a cinema) ensured that the demand for VCR Machines increased drastically. Initially only the rich or above average families could afford video players. Some benevolent rich people even bought “Senders” that could automatically transmit the movies being played in own their homes to their neighbours who could not afford their own VCRs.
The result of this striving for convenience was that little by little, home videos replaced cinemas and stage plays, until early in the new millennium when the likes of Filmhouse Cinemas brought back the old experience of cinema, but in a more refined and modern way.
These days we are sure of watching and enjoying a movie in a cinema without having to worry, unlike the generation of diehards who clung to Cinema after the early nineties, about the horrible and offensive smell of urine and faeces and the smell of cigarettes and marijuana.
Cinemas are back, but is there a future for stage plays? Maybe there will be tomorrow
Iyaafin writes in from Ibadan. Check her out on Instagram at @omosalewatundeonakoya or send her a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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