By Rebecca Sedinam Affor
The deplorable state and the closing of most cinemas in the capital city have become a matter of concern to most Ghanaians. The cinema and many others, such as REX, ROYAL, and GLOBE among the many cinemas in Accra before and after independence, served as a source of revenue for the country and have been cut short as most of these facilities are no longer operating. Most of the cinemas have been left under the scorching sun and rain with no proper maintenance over the years, which has caused parts of the building to fall off.
Various questions have been asked by concerned citizens and the communities in which these cinemas are located in regard to the malfunctioning of these facilities, including why and who should be held responsible and accountable.
The story of Roxy Cinema in the Greater Accra Region, Adabraka, is no different, as it has not been opened to the community for a while.
My visit to the Roxy Cinema on the stretch of Kwame Nkrumah Avenue towards the central business district of Accra was in a very odd state as the paint on the building has been washed off and the windows of the building almost coming off, with the frontage of the facility becoming a refuse dump as the compound was full of refuse at the time of my visit.
In an interview, an elderly man in his late sixties, Nii Armah, said he was a happy consumer of the Roxy Cinema when it came to existence.
According to him, the cinema at the time was highly patronised by almost everyone in the community and on the outskirts of Adabraka. The joy of going to the cinema, he says, is so amazing. He also added that most people go there to watch movies, even though they have television at home, and to socialise.
Touching on what he thought could be the cause of the closure of the place, he said: “I believe that as a result of the availability of more television and social media, people these days are very busy and have almost everything at their disposal.”
He went on to say that, aside from the external factors that led to the facility’s closure, he believes there are other internal factors as well. He also concluded that this had a negative impact on the revenue generated by the cinema when it was functioning, as people had to pay before they were allowed in.