Cultural life in our town
Cinema – Theatre – Dancing – Radio and TV – Literature
Cultural life in our town is not so rich as in large cities. In spite of that, there are some ways of spending leisure time. We can go to the cinema, to the theatre, dancing, or we can stay at home and listen to the radio, watch television and read books.
There are two cinemas here which offer film shows twice a day all the year round. The repertory of the cinemas is not specialized, the films do not have a long run and they change every three days. In the past it was necessary to book the tickets for a performance in advance if you wanted to avoid long queuing in front of the box office. The cinemas were often packed and tickets were sold out. Since that time attendance has declined partly due to the fact that people have less free time and are lazier to leave their homes. They prefer watching television or video to going to the cinema. The cinemas do not draw large audiences nowadays also on account of their repertory focused on presenting commercial, action films which do not interest more demanding cinemagoers. The last reason, but not the least, may be high admission. Before I decide to go to the cinema, I choose the films very carefully. I do not like violence and blood and I am fond of comedies, psychological drama and films about young people above all.
Small towns provide little opportunity to see theatre performances. There is not a permanent theatre building in our town and so when theatre companies come to give a performance here they act on the stage of our cultural house. I like going to the theatre, but I don´t go often because I have no time and nobody who can go with me. The the theatre people usually come dressed up, they take of their coats in the cloakroom. Students often buy cheaper tickets to the upper circle or balcony or stand in the gods.
During the interval, between two acts, we can walk in the foyer, buy some refreshments and share opinions of the performance with our friends. When the performance is over, the audience bursts into applause.
In the cultural house dancing lessons, discos, balls, concerts and book sales are also held. When I was in the second form I took dancing lessons there too. We learned both standard dances, such as the polka, Viennese waltz, waltz, foxtrot or tango and Latin American ones such as the jive, rumba, cha cha and modern dances.
Our town also has a picture gallery which specializes in book illustrations, and a library.
When I do not feel like going anywhere I watch television and listen to the radio or read books. I am not a TV addict and am not one of those who spend hours in front of the screen. For people it has become a matter of social status to have a satellite or a cable TV and first class video and TV set. Some people need a radio or TV as a background noise and they hardly know what is on the programme. I like to watch TV news, natural science programmes and good old films and sports programme.
When we travel a portable transistor can be a good companion. In comparison to a TV set, radio has at least two advantages. We need not sit in front of it and yet we can still enjoy listening to it while we have to do everyday boring tasks. And it can be as quick as possible in covering an event. Most of us switch on the radio to hear the time signal, morning news, press review, or some good music or a hit parade. Some other programmes, such as popular talks, phone-ins or discussions with well known personalities can be very interesting, too.
In comparison with the passive consumption of TV culture, reading is a highly active hobby. During our life we meet both fiction and nonfiction. When we read for pleasure, we usually pick up a book of fiction, such as novels (science fiction, western, travel books, thrillers, crime fiction, psychological and historical novels, adventure tales, love stories), short stories and tales or poetry. There are various ways to choose a book for reading. Some of us read a book for its subject and setting, others for the author or on personal recommendation. Also reasons why we read may be different – we read for relaxation and pleasure, or we look for information and advice. We can buy books, or we can borrow them from friends and from a library.
Questions on the text:
- What cultural facilities are there in your town?
- Why do people visit the cinema less often than before?
- What kind of films do the cinemas offer?
- What kind of films does writer like?
- What is special about the atmosphere in a theatre?
- What tickets to the theatre can you buy?
- What do you learn from a programme?
- How can you spend intervals?
- What kind of performances can you see at the theatre?
- What were you dancing lessons like?
- What kind of programmes does television offer?
- What are the advantages of radio?
- Why do we read books?
- What kind of books can we choose from?