Jordan runs a struggling cinema called Splendor in a small town in Italy. Low ticket sales mean that the cinema is no longer a viable business, and Jordan reflects on his experiences running Splendor, from his arrival in the town as a child with his father. He meets French showgirl Chantal at one of her performances, and she comes to work for him as an usher. Cinephile Luigi repeatedly attends screenings of “Il Sorpasso” in order to see Chantal, with whom he is besotted, and after a brief fling he begins working for Jordan as the projectionist. Attendance at the cinema decreases with the rise of television and Jordan considers bringing in strippers to try to solve his financial problems.