ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The controversial restoration of Istanbul’s historical Emek Movie Theater is continuing.
Nearly 1,110 items are being restored in the atelier. AA Photo
The wall and ceiling reliefs of the historical Emek Movie Theater in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu, which will be moved to the top floor of the Cercle D’Orient building as part of the work on the building, are being restored at an atelier in Istanbul’s Seyrantepe.
Levent Eyüpoğlu, a partner in the construction company that is carrying out the restoration project, said the removal, restoration and reattachment of the reliefs on the walls and ceiling would take delicate work over nearly 20 months, and they would make a separate plan for the Cercle D’Orient building.
He said nearly 1,110 pieces were being restored in the atelier, adding that their team of architects and restoration was very experienced.
Eyüpoğlu said the curtains, seats and projectors were in another depot. “We also have a cinema museum project. Lale Film’s general director, Necip Sarıcı, has a collection. We will make a museum with his support and with the pieces from Emek Theater.”
He said after the removal of pieces under protection, the demolition of the building had started, and that loges would be added in the theater, as well.
He said every second of the removal of the historical artworks had been recorded. “We have some 200,000 photos as well as a video recording. We are planning a documentary film featuring what we have experienced during the restoration process and the reopening. This building complex deserves it.”
He said Emek Theater would not be a part of a movie theater chain. “The theater did not only serve for film screenings. Concerts, dance and theater shows used to be held there. Our goal is to make the Emek Movie Theater a performance center in the city. We want to organize it as a scene for the galas of important films as well as theater performances. We will operate this place under a foundation. I always said movie theaters in Beyoğlu were being closed down one by one; we want to prevent it. We are constructing 10 movie halls and independent films screenings in one or two halls. There will be a street between the Cercle D’Orient in the front and the other building in the back. It will be a nice street; people will be able to enter this street through İstiklal Avenue and then reach Yeşilçam Street.” Missing parts will be completed
Speaking about the removal and restoration work, restorer Muharrem Özcan said the work had been carried out with the “moving” method. He said paint on the pieces would be detached individually and the pieces would return to their original state, and then broken and cracked parts would be restored.
Özcan said they were working with a team of eight people in the conservation stage. “First the paint will be detached from pieces, because there are four or five layers of paint on some of the pieces. After the detachment of paint and restoration of broken parts, we will leave them to dry. Moulds will also be taken for missing parts. Most of the pieces are in good condition, but we will also complete the broken ones.”
One of the project architects, Şerf Keskün, said they were working on a first in Turkey. He said only ceiling reliefs were being restored at the moment and the same progress would be made for curtains, seats and flooring.
When asked if the ceiling was a single piece, Keskün said the ceiling had not been a single piece in the original building. “After the completion of the process, the ceiling will be seen as a single piece.”
He said the complex should not be considered the Emek Movie Theater only, and that the Cercle D’Orient should not be forgotten either. “It has a history of 150 years.”