Walking by the the Cinema Boujloud in Fez is a sad experience for anyone who loves old movie houses. This once bustling cinema is closed and used for storage of market goods. The seating was still in place in the auditorium when seen in 2006. Cinema Boujaloud is symptomatic of the Moroccan cinema market which has been suffering a severe decline during the past years.
The rich heritage of Moroccan cinemas is endangered, but those who care about the future of film and their architectural value are working hard to save them, writes Derek Workman.
In 2007, Moroccan actor Tarik Mounim was in Tetouan waiting on a film set between takes. He was appearing in Goodbye Mothers, Morocco’s entry for the 2009 Oscars in the Best Foreign Film Category - which tells the story of the Jewish exodus from Morocco in the 1960s. While he waited for his scenes to be shot, he looked around the Art Deco cinema Cine Español, said to be the most beautiful in Morocco. He got to chatting with the owner, of the Español and two other cinemas in the city. It might seem pretty good, owning three cinemas, the owner told him, but it is a far cry from the twenty-five that his grandfather owned throughout the country.