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The Revival of the Alexandrian Cinema


Ramadan Rami

The history of the Egyptian cinema bears witness that, since we began working at it, Alexandria has played a leading role in the cinema industry. There was more than one studio in it, and more than one company. In the years before World War II, it produced more than half the total of Egyptian cinema productions. Consequently, many film-makers who lived in the second capital had to move to Cairo to resume their work there.

Today, Alexandria is trying to restore the position it had held as the leader in the cinema industry. One of its sons, Mr. Ramadan Rami, has established a modern studio, to bring back to the city its past cinematic activity. Mr. Rami is an Alexandrian businessman and he holds a degree in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. In 1942 he joined Studio Misr, bringing a good deal of his technical expertise to its lab. Eight months later he went abroad to augment this expertise with broader knowledge, then returned to Alexandria, his home town, to establish a studio that carries his name: Studio Rami.

Mr. Rami said in an interview that he had noticed that a lot of cinema companies came to Alexandria to shoot some scenes there, and that they had to carry all their equipment from Cairo because none was to be found in Alexandria. He wanted to fill in this gap by creating the studio. As an Alexandrian, he also found that it was not fit for such a city to be without a studio that would help establish an artistic unity between the sister cities.

He added that the next step he took was to establish a film production company, and he had in fact started, though on a small scale, with the film The Fisherman’s Daughter. He hopes that the company will soon grow, as he has been working on making it capable of increasing cinema productions and thus the cinema industry in Alexandria. The current boom in the city, which has been brought about by the blessed revolution, has encouraged its children to return to it the position it had previously held in the cinema industry. They will undoubtedly do that, in accordance with the satisfaction Dr. Hussein Fawzi, the Undersecretary of Public Guidance, evinced when he visited Studio Rami regarding the efforts that Alexandrians are making to revive its arts. The project to support the cinema is now concerned with helping those who work in it, and Alexandria will surely receive its share of this aid.

El Kawakeb. Number 327. 5 November 1957.