Theater Romance

Erika and Ulrich Gregor’s love for each other were born in cinema during the 1950 Cold War. This romance was then nourished for six decades by spending time in at least one movie a day, together. Now, the couple is in their 80s but still dashing in this week’s film festival. They are spotted year after year, making their way into theaters arm in arm. What’s fascinating is that the pair catches as many screening as they can!

 “We have watched thousands and thousands of films together. We are curious and we want to be on the cutting edge, so to speak. So we watch five movies a day at a festival, sometimes even six. And when we are not watching movies, we are talking about them,” 85-year-old Ulrich revealed in an interview at the Arsenal cinema they helped found.

The pair met as students at West Berlin’s Free University in 1957 when Ulrich was hosting a film evening. “It was ‘People on Sunday’,” a 1930 German silent film, “and there was one woman who had very strong views,” he said.

 “Everybody loved the movie but I thought it was sexist and said so. There was a stormy debate but I would not back down. When it was over I walked out and the moderator (Ulrich) ran after me and said ‘Please come next time’ and promised to show a film that was more humanistic. And he did, it was terrific,” 83-year-old Erika recalled.

Erika ended up joining the film club’s board. The local de revealed how Ulrich returned from the Cannes, where he raved about the Polish directors such as Andrzej Wajda and Andrzej Munk. Moreover, Erika suggests that they should start to showcase cinema from behind the Iron Curtain. This is the shared passion that the Gregors say has kept their relationship thriving after nearly 60 years of marriage.

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