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Street cinema is taking off in Milan

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By Luca Palamara
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Street cinema is taking off in Milan
Copyright  STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP or licensors

A few friends, a projector, and a shop’s shutter — it doesn’t take much to recreate the magic of cinema — but bringing the cinema down to the streets for everybody to enjoy freely is a very valuable undertaking in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lorenzo Alliata Nobili decided to bring cinema to people, down to the streets of Milan, and let them socialise and be together again.

“After two years of closures," explained Nobili, "I wanted to meet everybody here in the streets, with no curfews or limitations. It’s a way to break barriers.”

The idea is simple and the actual organisation of the open-air cinema evenings is not difficult either. Everybody helps out, bringing food, drinks, and technical equipment. The nearby bar provides electricity and chairs. What matters is just to meet and enjoy watching a film together.

Luca Lubrini, a student explained, “It was just an ordinary night out, we were sitting in this bar and, I don’t remember well, but we just wanted to watch a film. We were about to go home and watch it, but then we didn’t feel like going home yet and Lorenzo came up with the idea to get his projector from home and ask the bar owner to use his sockets.”

Passers-by stopped, attracted by the beam of light projected against a shutter. Some of them joined in.

What was just a different way to hang out with a few friends soon became something different.

“We, young people, felt the urge to meet in the streets, talk to each other, and to have a normal life, at last, a life made of actual human relationships, rather than Zoom meetings and films on streaming,” said Nobili.

The programme includes some of the greatest films of Italian comedy from the last decades from the last century, to meet the tastes of both friends and strangers who wish to leave these difficult times behind.