Monday December 10, 2018
Home World Old Cinemas: ...

Old Cinemas: Abandoned Picture Houses Become Cultural Centers in Lebanon

Qassem Istanbouli, an art and cinema enthusiast from Lebanon, shows films by directors such as Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, David Lynch and Lars Von Trier in his picture houses

0
//
Qassem Istanbouli
Qassem Istanbouli holds a film negative, in Tripoli, Lebanon, July 5, 2017. Istanbouli is restoring old cinemas into cultural centers. VOA
Republish
Reprint
  • An abandoned picture house and its renovation in the northern Lebanese town of Tripoli is more than a dream for Qassem Istanbouli
  • The 31-year-old has reopened three such cinemas, two in his home city of Tyre in southern Lebanon, and another in Nabatiyeh, and has transformed them into hubs for film, art and theatre
  • Istanbouli, who was born in Tyre and studied fine arts and directing at the Lebanese University, initially relied on a bank loan and donations from the public for his projects

Tripoli, Lebanon, July 14, 2017: With peeling paint and crumbling plasterwork, an abandoned picture house and its renovation in the northern Lebanese town of Tripoli is more than a dream for Qassem Istanbouli.

The 31-year-old has reopened three such cinemas, two in his home city of Tyre in southern Lebanon, and another in Nabatiyeh, and has transformed them into hubs for film, art and theater.

“When I embarked on this journey, I felt I shared this dream with people in my city who are eager to have a cultural life restored,” said Istanbouli, who shows films by directors such as Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, David Lynch and Lars Von Trier.

ALSO READ: Indian Cinema has gone beyond song-dance saga, for International Audience it is still about Cultural Reflection of larger than Life characters

Istanbouli, who was born in Tyre and studied fine arts and directing at the Lebanese University, initially relied on a bank loan and donations from the public for his projects but now gets financial support from the Lebanese ministry of culture, a Dutch NGO and the United Nations force in Lebanon.

Istanbouli’s dream is also driven by a family connection, his father used to repair cinema projectors, while his grandfather screened movies from Greece and the Palestinian territories, projecting them on a wall.

“This is a way to achieve my father’s dream,” he said. (VOA)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

Next Story

Lebanon Considering Legalization of Cannabis

Centered on the Bekaa Valley, known for narcotics production, Lebanon produces some of the finest quality cannabis, mostly processed into hashish

0
Marijuana, Canada
An employee inspects the leaf of a cannabis plant at a medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel. (VOA)

A Lebanese lawmaker has introduced a draft bill in parliament that would legalize the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Antoine Habchi said he is proposing using the plant as alternative medicine to fight addiction and at the same time as a way to help Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley restore its economy and generate much needed income.

Habchi said that under the bill, cultivation would be tightly controlled.

Also Read: Plant-Based Food May Boost Your Heart Health

However, it will likely take months of discussions before the draft bill would come to a vote.

Lebanon is the third largest cannabis producer in the world, after Morocco and Afghanistan, according to the United Nations.

Centered on the Bekaa Valley, known for narcotics production, Lebanon produces some of the finest quality cannabis, mostly processed into hashish. (VOA)