Browse all

Iconic Milan cinemas Apollo and Odeon close

progress or cultural decadence?

Iconic Milan cinemas Apollo and Odeon close progress or cultural decadence?

These days in Milan everyone is talking about the fact that two of the most important cinemas of the city, Apollo and Odeon, are going to close to make room to an Apple store and an extension of La Rinascente. The news has inevitably produced many reflections on the concept of progress and the value of culture nowadays.

When you think about progress, in its absolute sense, it’s about improving the general living standards of humanity. But what if in the process of advancement there was a slowdown (or even a stop) of fundamental aspects like culture, historical memory and sense of belonging? Then the progress would not have an homogeneous meaning anymore, but a thousand cross branches.

A testimony that this can happen is certainly to find in the closure of two of the cinema symbol of Milan.

It emerges then a strange tendency of progress, starring technology and vanity. It’s a trend that is expanding and rolling out gradually throughout the peninsula, and that would have no way to be considered negative except that is emerging to replace important centres of culture, which were once iconic meeting points.

If Apple opens a new store in the city, it can be an opportunity for growth, but if at any store that opens closes a cinema, a library, a literary cafe, then we know concretely that we have entered a vortex of cultural decadence. Generally, anything that sacrifices the good for the community and prefers the individuality and vanity of the individual, cannot be considered progress.

The impression that Milan is becoming a big shopping mall is getting stronger, and stronger is the feeling that material objects or "smart" toys have become a top priority, even compared to local identities and the emotional education of a society.