Old movie theaters
target for renovation
1,500 seats in Tyr and Nabatieh,
Tripoli and Bint Jbeil are next
Kassem Istanbouli, an actor and director, has launched an initiative to rehabilitate old movie theaters in rural areas.
Istanbouli is currently crowdfunding for the renovation of the Rivoli Cinema in Tyr. He has already renovated Stars Cinema in Nabatieh and Cinema Hamra in Tyr. Once the restoration of Rivoli is complete, a total of 1,500 seats and three screens would have been restored.
“Our goal is to restore the role of these movie theaters as cultural centers that they once were,” Istanbouli said.
The theaters will be used to play old movies starring local actors, and hold theatrical shows and training sessions for students interested in the arts and culture.
Istanbouli plans to continue the initiative by restoring two movie theaters in Tripoli and Bint Jbeil.
He took out a personal bank loan of $25,000. The actor has received minimal support from the Ministry of Culture and is relying extensively on support from municipalities and volunteers.
“I started out with the dream to renovate the cinema in my hometown, but now it has expanded to preserve heritage sites and old traditional buildings,” he said.
According to Istanbouli, there wereonce more than 100 movie theatres.
“Out of the 34 which were located in Tripoli, 26 have been demolished, and out of the 27 that were located in the south, only five remain,” he said.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Jul 18, 2017