As TV series are becoming popular in Ethiopia, in substitute of movies whose popularity has come to a sudden halt, Samuel Getachew discovers the faces that once populated local cinemas are now at internet cafes downloading the latest of TV series from aboard. Local TV stations are catching the wave, offering imported series to capture a segment society that is fascinated by foreign cultures.
Churchill Avenue, located in the area of Piassa, the ever changing business district of the capital is where the first cinema in Ethiopia opened. That is where locals experienced the magic of movies for the first time. Those that experienced it found it magical as it was reflected for them on a white fabric on a wall. It seemed foreign to an Ethiopian audience who dubbed the cinema as the “Satan House”.
The experience was seen too forward and imaginative for many to comprehend. That was more than a century ago. Since then, Ethiopia has modernized its cinemas and earned a wider acceptance within Ethiopia. Foreign films from India and the United States, especially during the Derg regime became the norm as that era subdued local artistic freedom. The likes of Charlie Chaplin and Eddie Murphy and Indian movies such as Mother India became everyone’s favorite.
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