STORIES FROM

HØYANGER

Texts by Gaute Ljotebø

Timeline

1899: Engineer Einar Ramsli from Kyrkjebø and architect Sigurd Lunde, secures the rights to the Øyre river system. The race for the rights to the hydro power in Høyangsfjorden starts.

 

1906-1915: Consul Harald Larsen gathers and secures all the water rights around Høyanger. The work with zoning for the hydro power development kicks off, and the plan is to built an electrical ironwork site.

 

1913: The company a/s Høyangfaldene is established.

 

1914: Power concession is awarded to a/s Høyangfaldene.

 

1915:  «a/s Høyangfaldene, Norsk Aluminium Company» is created. The company that was awarded concession becomes a part of this company, and is referred to as «Høyangfaldene». Administrative Director Sigurd Kloumann is seen as the founder of the new company, which now focuses on production of aluminum and not steel.

 

1916: The construction work starts with the development of the power- factory- and town sites. Høyangsfjorden becomes «Høyanger». A provisional power plant at Hjetland starts operating.

 

1917: The first step in the power development (power site 1), including the Grimsos dam and Kråkos dam, is finalized. The first permanent power plant, Power Station 1, is put into operation on the factory site at Øren in November. The aluminum factory is finalized on November 7th, the electrode factory begins production of anode coal. At most during 1917, 1350 people were working in construction in Høyanger. Before the site was developed, only 120 people lived her.

 

1918: The foundry is finalized. The first trial production of aluminum is started; August 22nd 430 kg of aluminum is drained. Due to the shortage of raw material normal aluminum production is not begun until the end of 1919. Compensation production of iron and carbide from May to November.

 

1919: Year of crisis for the company, the year is marked by inertia. There is a shortage of raw materials, in addition to a strike at the factory in the summer and autumn months. In November, the production of aluminum can finally begin. The first shipment of aluminum, 74 tonnes, is delivered to «Det Norske Nitridaktieselskap» on December 15th 1919.

 

1921: Hans Hygen becomes plant director, a position he held until 1955.

 

1923: Due to financial difficulties, the production company needs more capital. They apply and get permission to be refinanced by foreign (US) capital. The company was divided into «a/s Høyangfaldene» which has the rights to the power plants and «A/S Norsk Aluminium Company» or NACo for short, which takes over the production and the factory- and town site.

 

1928: The oxide factory is finished. The oxide production is based on the Pedersen Process, developed by Norwegian professor Harald Pedersen at NTH in Trondheim, Norway.

 

1936: A/S Høyangfaldene is dissolved and merged with NACo.

 

1937-38: Development of a power plant in Eriksdalen, Power Plant 2. Ny power station in Dalen.

 

1939: New aluminum factory (Serie B) is finished with Søderberg ovens. New lab and the first site for cleansing of the process starts construction.

 

1940: NACo is under German administration due to the occupation of Norway during the war. The oldest aluminum factory (Serie A) is under reconstruction for Søderberg ovens.

 

1948: A smoke tunnel is constructed to lead the factory emission up to the mountainside instead of affecting the town.

 

1951-55: Expansion of Power Plant 2 in Eriksdalen.

 

1957-59: The power plants for station 3 and 4 is developed in Eriksdalen (Roesvatn and Norddalen).

 

1958: Serie C (Hall C), with 44 ovens, begins operation on July 1st. The factory was started in 1956.

 

1962-1965: Development of a power plant in the Hovland river system, Power Plant 5. A new power station 5 is built at the mountainside at Øren.

 

1965: Serie C (Hall C) is expanded.

 

1967: NACo is merged into the ÅSV concern (A/S Årdal og Sunndal Verk)

 

1969: The oxide factory is closed down in September.

 

1970:  From January 1st 1970 NACo no longer exists as a separate company. NACo and Høyanger Verk is now a fully integrated part of ÅSV.

 

1972: A break bulk cargo foundry is established at the foundry at Høyanger Verk, and produces among other products, rims for car wheels for SAAB.

 

1973: The aluminum slug factory begins production, producing parts for tubes and boxes made of aluminum.

 

1977: In August, a new factory called Fundo Aluminum opens. Producing aluminum rims for car wheels, the factory is located at Hjetland. The development of the Gautingsdal river system begins.

 

1978-80: Development of Power Plant 5, including a new Grimsos dam.

 

1979: The oxide factory is demolished. Power plant 1 goes out of production.

 

1980: Serie A and B are demolished. A new and modern aluminum factory, Hall A, is built instead.

 

1981: Hall A starts production in the autumn. The smoke tunnel finishes operation, due to the arrival of a new cleansing facility.

 

1986: Hydro’s aluminum section takes over the ÅSV concern. The new company is named Hydro Aluminium AS.

 

1989: Fundo becomes a separate company under Hydro Aluminium.

 

1993: The aluminum slug factory becomes a separate company, Hydroslug AS.

 

1999: Hydroslug is closed down. Høyanger Metallverk separates from the maintenance departments and leaves KOGAS (Kværner Oil & Gas) in charge of them.

 

2000: Fundo is bought by Hamid Al Zayani and the company Aluwheel, with a main office in Bahrain.

 

2001: During autumn , Fundo is in reality bankrupt, and is saved by a group with Høyanger Municipality at the forefront, that buys out the Arabic owners.

 

2003: ERA (Energy Recycling AS) is established, and from the beginning of 2004 begins a recycling factory for Zinc as a byproduct of iron production. ERAS takes over the old Hydroslug buildings.

 

2006: Hall C is slowly phased out, closed and eventually demolished.

 

2009: January 12th, Fundo Wheels AS is declared bankrupt, the last day of production is February 12th.

Sigurd Kloumann - at the forefront of the industry

Sigurd Kloumann (1879-1954) was at the forefront of the industry in Høyanger, and raised funds when NACo was established in 1915. He was administrative director of the company from 1915 to 1946. He is at several occasions said to be the founding father of the modern Høyanger. Kloumann worked from the NACo main office in Oslo, but was in Høyanger on business regularly.  

 

Kloumann was trained as an engineer and is today counted as one of the largest leaders of early 20th century industrial Norway. He was active in the founding Norsk Hydro from 1905 onward. Here he acted as head of development for the Svelgfoss power plant and construction of a fertilizer plant in Notodden. Kloumann planned and lead the development of the power plant and factory plant in Rjukan. In the story of Hydro, Kloumann is seen as a pioneer within project management.

 

Eventually, he had a falling out with one of the men behind Hydro, Sam Eyde, and left Hydro in 1912. After this, he was behind some of the biggest industrial projects in Norway, including the ventures in Tyssedal and Sauda. Still, it was the establishing of NACo with the aluminium factory in Høyanger and the refining of the crude product in Holmestrand that he made his biggest contribution to Norwegian industry.

 

Sigurd Kloumann was a rather short man, and was known for his fiery temperament and a well developed sense of justice. He was the spokesman of a moderate wing of the workers» union, and was a cherished leader by the workers. The bust pictured above was unveiled on his 50th birthday in 1929, and was a gift from the population of Høyanger, his friends and co-workers. The bust was made by the sculptor Dyre Vaa.

"Own Homes"

Own Homes houses can be found in central Høyanger, in addition to some at Sæbøtangen, down by the old docks.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a movement called «Own Homes» started to manifest in Norway, with the purpose of providing housing, with gardens, for the working class.

In Høyanger, Own Homes was a large part of NACo’s strategy to build a harmonic and well-regulated society around the industrial town that had started to grow rapidly. NACo bought land that was leased out, part-took in the construction, gave economical support and support for architectural drawings. It was a large investment for the working class families to build houses, and thus most people had to rent out parts of their houses to fund their own accommodation. Up to 16 people could live in a 49 sq.m. house at the same time.

 

The first Own Homes house was finished in 1924, but few years after this had grown to 42 houses.

Cinema through 100 years in Høyanger - from silent film to digital screenings

Through the past 100 years, with some short breaks, there have been regular film screenings in Høyanger. In the years 1917 to 1986, it was the People’s House Cinema that were in charge of the screenings. From 1987 onwards the cinema has been under the municipality administration through Høyanger Municipality Cinema. The cinema has been, and still is, an important cultural scene in the industrial town. Not just for the experience of the film itself, but also an important social scene. The cinema had its peak audience numbers in the 1940s and 50s. During these years there were between 40 000 and 60 000 visitors every year.

 

The People’s House Cinema 1917 – 1986

The beginning

 

October 25th 1916, the “Høyanger Society People’s House Building Committee” sent an application to run a public cinema to the Kyrkjebø Municipality Council. December 7th 1916 the council voted unanimously to grant permit to run a cinema in Høyanger for 3 years. The municipality was to be granted 10% of the gross revenue. They were not the only ones wanting to run a cinema, as during the same council meeting a private cinema, “A/S Kinografen”, spearheaded by the local police officer Kjær, was also granted a permit. This with 5 to 10 votes on the same terms.

 

The People’s House was at this time being plannedm and did not have an available space to run a cinema. Neither did they have an actual film projector. At a meeting on December 15th 1916 between the local worker’s unions it was decided to start the operation of the cinema as soon as possible. At the same time they decided to send a man to Kristiania (Oslo) to purchase a projector. They also decided to boycott the private cinema.

 

The boycott lasted from January 1917, and worked as planned. On 14th of March 1917 the Union Council signed a lease agreement with the local private cinema to use their community house at Sæbø/Sæbøtangen as a cinema. The Unions in “the People’s House Building Committee” operated a cinema here until they moved in the great hall at the new People’s House towards the end of 1917. The People’s House Cinema were now at home in their own venue. The ticket prices in 1917 were 50 øre for adults and 25 øre for children under 15 years of age.  

Silent film

The first years silent films ruled. The cinema had a leasing agreement with a company called Fotorama, and leased a film per week for 30 kr. This was showed at two screenings per week, Saturdays and Sundays. Even if the cinema at this time was relatively well visited, they did not make much revenue. In 1921 the gross revenue was 10 000 kr, and 8500 of this was used to lease films. The rest went into covering rent and maintenance.

 

The film repertoire consisted of many lighter entertainment films, and Westerns were the most popular. There were also more advanced films running, like the classis Metropolis in 1927. There were other screenings than entertainment and dramas. In 1924 the film Kvindens Hygiene (“Female Hygiene”) was shown, in the service of public education. Here “…the genitals and their functions”  were part of the themes of the film, and thus there were separate screenings for men and women. Until the beginning of the 1930s there were only silent films being shown, and thus the films were accompanied by live music. The cinema early on hired a pianist and a violinist. In the newspaper “Sogningen” on December 2nd 1919 one can read about a film so bad it should not have been screened. But the music was praised: “this was very cleverly performed by Ms Strøm and Mr Hagen.” The musicians were awarded 7 kr each per performance, which they believed to not be enough. Still, the music was a big expense for the cinema, and during a period of lower visitor numbers, the board of the People’s House had to fire the violinist. This was in 1926. The violinist Einar Hagen knew this may happen, but still told them to contact him when there were screenings of particularly dramatic films “…especially demanding violin music.”

 

Amy Zetterberg says:

“The film screenings were obviously popular. There were silent films in the 20s. The screenings were accompanied by live music, picked for each film individually. Before the screening there were always test screenings and trial runs of the music. Ola Jensen and Viktor Nilsen took turns running the films. Hagen from Villabyen and Alfred Forsberg played violin and piano. Grønstad, the leader of the Workers Unions Marching Band also played for a few years. One year there was a woman from Trondheim, Ms Risan, who played the piano. The last few years before the sound films came, Trygve Nordgren played the piano.

Members of the Union Council and their chairmen took turns being ticket inspectors. My parents usually operated the ticket office. During the test-runs I could come and go as I wanted. All alone or with my little sister I had the cinema all to myself. Even if the cinema tickets were cheaper those days, there were a lot of kids that could not afford a ticket. Usually there would be a small group of kids by the entrance, hoping for someone to pay their entrance or that the ticket inspectors would let them in. Viktor Nilsen and Nils Amble pitied them the most, and let them in after the lights went out at the cinema. If the ticket inspectors were the of the tougher kind, the smallest kids were pulled through the ticket office and let info the cinema that way. Only the smallest kids got through the hatch. My mother told me years later that she would never forget the sore cry of a boy who had grown too big and got stuck in the hatch.

 

A revolting memory from the first few years were all the spittoons that were placed in front of the benches. They were white enamel, and covered by a lid with holes in it. They were unpopular with most of the audience, but people realized soon who to sit next to and not during the screenings. Sometimes the worst of the “spitters” ended up with their own bench at the front. Thankfully, the era of spittoons ended soon, and was replaced by signs reading that spitting on the floor was not allowed.

 

Sound film

The first sound film screened was The Jazz Singer, which was first shown in the U.S. in 1927. The first sound film screened in Norway was the Singing Fool, which premiered at Eldorado Cinema in Oslo September 18th 1929.

Autumn 1931 the People’s House were contacted by NACO that they wanted to purchase a film projector for sound film, which they wanted to place at the People’s House. NACO demanded that they would need a representative on the Cinema Council. At the council meeting on October 31st 1931 this was deemed a fair offer and arrangement. One member was concerned that the reason behind the company wanting a representative on the council was to decide what movies was to be shown. The council passed the agreement with 16 votes.

 

The first sound film premiered on Thursday December 17th 1931 at the People’s House Cinema in Høyanger. The film that was screened was From Divalo. 136 tickets were sold. The day after, the Swedish sound film Makurells Vadkjøping was screened, and 114 tickets were sold. Both films were scheduled in for the Sunday after, but both were cancelled. The reason was a lack of action in the film. The weekend after the film All Quiet on the Western Front was scheduled to be screened, but this too was cancelled, and rescheduled for later. The start of sound film in Høyanger was bumpy, but this was the future and a modern industrial town had to have sound films.

 

In 1931 there were 60 scheduled films that screened 113 times in total. Thursday and Sunday were the scheduled days, but sometimes there were screening on Fridays and Saturdays as well. The price was 1 kr for adults and 40 øre for kids. The number of screenings and the audience number rose during the 1930s and colour films started to appear.

In 1939 there were 106 films, screened a total of 316 times. This year 47 335 tickets were sold, to a revenue of 41234,20 kr. Now there were screenings several times per week, often several films per day. The three most seen films were all Norwegian; Elis Sjursdatter (1101 tickets), Hu Dagmar (1085 tickets) and Ungen (1035 tickets). Several films were shown as purely children’s screenings. One of these was Lille Willy Winkie. At this screening, there were 36 adult tickets and 36 kids tickets, a total of 413. It must have been crowded at the People’s House this day! There were only 260 estimated seats in the grand hall at this stage.

 

The war

During the war, 1940-45, the cinema ran almost as normal. Due to natural causes, the screenings right after April 9th 1940 were cancelled. The first film shown after this was Gjest Baardsen. This was shown 9 times between June 1st and 5th 1940, with a total of 1978 tickets sold (1529 adults and 449 kids). With this, Gjest Baardsen was probably the most seen film in Høyanger. It was repeated in 1944 as well, with 1092 tickets sold. At a kids screening there were 136 adult tickets and 312 kids tickers sold, a total of 488.

 

The movie repertoire was kind of limited in the German-occupied Norway during the war. English and American movies were banned. The repertoire consisted of mostly Nordic and European films, a selection of films that the German censorship would allow. The most popular films were the Norwegian ones, and during the war, in addition to Gjest Baardsen, films like Tante Pose, Vigdis and Den Forsvunnede Pølsemaker (The Missing Sausage Maker) were also seen by many. Some German films were also screened, but they were not seen by many. In several of these, the German soldiers got a reduced price ticket.

 

Even if the repertoire was censored during the war, the cinema was still well visited. In 1944 there were 116 films with 316 screenings. Approximately 60 000 visitors came through the cinema at the People’s House that year. The ticket prices rose during the war, and in May 1942 a ticket was 1 krone and 30 ør for an adult ticket, and 50 øre for kids. This rose further to 1,50 kr in 1944.  During the war the cinema was a very important cultural scene in Høyanger. This was a place where people could meet during hard times when the access to cultural activities was restricted.

 

1945 - 1971

The 1940s and 50s were the heydays of the cinema in Høyanger. The first few years after the war the cinema was especially popular, with over 50 000 visitors per year. During the 1950s the number of visitors went down a bit. In April 1956 the price of the ticket went up to 2 kr. This may have been some of the reason of the decrease in visitors to 39 307. It rose back to over 40 000 per year, but already showed a new tendency.

 

At the beginning of the 1960s the number of visitors were stable around 35 000. Even if the numbers went down and were fluctuating, the cinema was still a central cultural mediator in Høyanger. It was an important part of the new youth culture that developed. A youth culture with drawing inspiration from the U.S., where film was an important influencer. On October 10th and 11th 1956, the cult film Rebel Without a Cause screened in Høyanger, with James Dean in the lead role. 418 tickets were sold – well visited, but not the most popular film this year. The most popular one was screened just days after on the 14th and 15th of October – Far til fire på landet. This sold 425 adult tickets and 489 kids tickets, adding up to 914 in total.

 

Even with the American films dominating the market, the Norwegian films were still popular, but other films were also popular. Ingvar Jordanger says the Russian adventure film Stenblomster made a lasting impression on several cinema goers in 1947. Jordanger also talks about life around the cinema, where the battle in the queue to get the good tickets were central. Another side was the young and hopeful, trying to sneak into an adult screening. It was probably not easy in a small, compact industrial society where “everybody knows everybody”. This is something several people talked about. The battles in the queue and the sneaking were a time-honoured tradition as long as there was a cinema in the old People’s House. The screenings were under surveillance by the strict custodian and the projectionist, Per Bruflat. He often stood on the balcony in the great hall in his coat and looked out on the crowd. Was anyone found sneaking in or goofing around, they were thrown out. They did not get their money back.

 

The old, dignified People’s House was soon out of date as a cinema location. It was also out-dated in other ways. The People’s House had plans to build a new building, and towards the end of the 1960s, they collaborated with the municipality on building a new modern community house on the grounds of the People’s House. The old building was demolished towards the end of 1969. The last year of screenings at the People’s House there were 19 269 visitors at 179 screenings and 103 films. The cinema was moved to Valhall until the new community centre was ready.

 

The two cinema machines that were used at the People’s House, ended up in Solund and in Lavikdalen.

 

1971 – 1986

On Monday November 15th 1971 the official opening of the new community centre in Høyanger took place, with a modern cinema hall with 231 seats. The first film screened was Kjeltringer og diamanter, an adult film with a price of 5 kr. Thursday November 15th the film Apachenes Høvding screened for kids with a price of 2 kr per ticket.

In the 1960s the television became public domain and was a big competitor to the cinema in Norway. This decade the numbers at the cinemas went down drastically across the whole country, and it was also visible in Høyanger. At the beginning of the 1970s, one could find televisions in most homes in the town, but the cinema was still fairly well visited. The cinema was still an important cultural meeting place and a leisure time activity for kids and youth in Høyanger. Visits to the cinema were stable in the 1970s with around 20 000 visitors per year. 1976 has the highest number of visitors, and with 23 821 visitors at 117 films and 153 screenings.

 

The operator was paid, and the work did not only consist of the screenings but also pre- and post-screening work. This entailed collecting and delivering the film rolls at the docks, and coiling the film rolls before and after the screenings.

 

Johnny Nygård started his career as a cinema operator for the People’s House as a 14-year-old in 1973. He says that operating the cinema was particular work. “A lot of people were sitting in the audience, and you’d be nervous that something would go wrong, and it did several times. This depended on the quality of the film. It could be an old roll of film that could be worn out, and then it’d break easily, and it was a lot of hassle. In the beginning one was nervous about this, I knew people down in the audience. Once the film broke and the screen went black, and someone yelled “Johnny, what are you doing?”, and then everyone knew it was me up there. After a while, he got the hang of it and didn’t get too worried about it. Johnny Nygård was one of several operators towards the end of the 1980s.

 

The cinema was a reliable source of income for the People’s House. At the beginning of the 1980s the visits to the cinema has a significant drop. In 1981 only 15 369 visitors were counted, in 1982 10 831, in 1983 8 974. According to the local newspaper, Sogn Dagblad, there were 3 650 visitors in 1984 and 3 000 in 1985. The cinema had now gotten a huge competitor in the VHS-cassettes. People could now rent them in Høyanger, and then see them at home. 

To run a cinema has a significant cost in film rent. Outside the operator the cinema was ran through volunteer work with organising the operation, advertising, ticketing and guarding the door. When the interest in the cinema was plummeting and the revenue was non-existent, the People’s House decided to close down the cinema. On November 3rd 1983 the People’s House cancelled their agreement with the municipality, with a one year notice period. While the municipality gathered themselves, the People’s House still ran the cinema with a financial grant from the municipality. But in April 1986 it was over. The last film shown was Lassiter, on April 29th.

 

Martin

Large parts of the film Martin were recorded in Høyanger during the summer of 1979. On Sunday January 11th 1981 there was a pre-premiere in Høyanger, and according to Sogn Dagblad there were 800 people that braved the weather and went to one of the three screenings that day – the best visitor numbers since Flåklypa Grand Prix in the mid-70s. Martin was directed by Reidulf Risan with Bjørn Skagestad in the lead role. The film deals with the rumours in a remote west coast village surrounding the teacher Martin, who is accused of being gay. Høyanger is the location for the film.

 

In the review of the film in Sogn Dagblad on January 13th 1981 the film is said to be “…a product of the average “Norwegian film level”, and that does not really say much.” They also write that “the film is not completely without positive tendencies. The cinematography is, as far as we can judge it, well done – even if we can’t ignore that we might be blinded by the nice shots of nature in Høyanger.”

 

Høyanger municipal cinema 1987-2017

 

After the People’s House cancelled their agreement with Høyanger municipality for the operations of the cinema, the council of culture put forward a working group to look at the future of cinema in Høyanger. This group ended their work during the spring of 1986. On November 10th 1986 Høyanger Municipal Council decided open the cinema again, as soon as possible. One condition was adding a paid cinema secretary in a 50% position and a separate budget for the cinema for 1987.

 

The first screening operated by the municipal cinema took place on Palm Sunday April 12th 1987 at 8 pm. The film screened was Out of Africa, featuring Meryl Streep. The film was screened twice. Sogn Dagblad reported that the hall was filled to the brim, with 300 attendees. Eirin Vangsnes was given flowers by the head of culture in Høyanger, Sverre Erdal, as she was the first to buy a ticket. The ticket price was now 25 kr for adults and 15 kr for children.

 

At the advice of the cinema council, the film machines were to be replaced or rebuilt as soon as possible. This was due to them being out-dated and it was hard to get new light bulbs for them. These conditions were also highlighted in the yearly review of the cinema in both 1989 and 1990. In 1990 the maintenance costs of the machines were very high. Just before Christmas 1991, in the middle of a film, they broke down and the machines could not be repaired. The municipality permitted 457 000 kr to rebuild the machines, a new sound system and a new canvas. On the August 23rd 1992, a Sunday, the cinema reopened.

 

Friday December 3rd 2010 the new digital projector for film screening was used to screen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1. Høyanger municipal cinema was one of the first cinemas in the county to go digital. With the new machine ,one could now also screen 3D films. This upgrade cost around 500 000 kr. Norway is one of the first countries in the world to go through a national digitalisation of all cinemas.

 

With the exception of 1992, when there was a pause in operations for most of the year, the yearly visits to the cinema has been stable at around 6 000 to 10 000 visitors. In 1990 there were 150 screenings with 135 films and 8272 visitors. The income from tickets this year was 210 755 kr. The peak year was 1996 had a total of 9 990 visitors. In 2014 there were 6535 visitors, the lowest since the 1990s.

 

In 2016 there were 200 screenings of 77 films with 8 590 visitors. The most visited films were the jubilee film Industristaden Høyanger 100 år with 755 visitors and Kongens Nei with 580 visitors. The total ticket revenue was 52 2420 kr. The ticket prices in 2017 were adults over 21 years of age 80 kr, youth (15-21 y.o.) 70 kr and childen 60 kr.

 

Summed up:

Through 100 years, with only short breaks, there have been regular screenings of films in Høyanger. Exactly when the screenings first began is unclear, but it was around the end of 1916 or beginning of 1917. After a boycott of the private competitor, the worker’s unions could, through the People’s House Cinema, start screenings in a rented location in March 1917. The move into a permanent location at the People’s House was towards the end of the same year. The first years silent films were all the rage, with proper music accompanying it. This was an important cultural offering for the people of the new industrial town, still developing and growing. In 1927 the sound film came, revolutionizing the film business. Towards the end of 1931 the sound film arrived in Høyanger, as it should in a modern industrial town.

The war, from 1940 to 1945, proved to bring many challenges. One of them was restrictions and censorship of culture. The cinema was possibly the most important public meeting place at this time, and had the most visitors it had ever had during this time.

 

In the 1950s and 60s there were large groups of children starting school in Høyanger, and the cinema became a central part of the local youth culture. “Everyone” met at the cinema – it was not just the film luring them to the cinema, life around it was an important meeting place. The old People’s House was out-dated, and in 1971 a new one was in place and open to the public, with a modern cinema hall. At this time the television was a big competitor to the cinema, as people could now enjoy films and news at their own leisure. But the newest films could only be seen in cinema, and the cinema was still big.

 

At the beginning of the 1980s the vhs-casette came to Høyanger. One could now rent films and see them at home. Clearly they were not the newest films, those could one be seen at the cinema. This still reduced the visitor numbers drastically, and it forced the People’s House Cinema to close down, and they did in April 1986. In April the following year the municipal cinema opened and has since then been screening films for the public on the regular. In 2010 the cinema in Høyanger became digital.

 

In 2018 the cinema is still an important cultural activity in Høyanger. The competition for film screening is tougher than ever, as one can now see films on dvd, television and through streaming. But still – if you want the newest films, cinema is the only option. Here you meet others like you, and the cinema is to this day not just a place for films, it’s an important meeting place. Film is still best seen at the cinema.

Gunnar S. Galleriet

Byporten, Høyanger

6993 Høyanger

postmottak@hoyanger.kommune.no​

Telefon: + 47 57 71 15 00

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