Historic Turkish movie theater burns down

Historic Turkish movie theater burns down

ESKİŞEHİR Hürriyet Daily News
Historic Turkish movie theater burns down

This file photo shows Kılıçoğlu Theater screening the 1989 classic film, "Back to the Future II."

A historic movie theater in the Turkish province of Eskişehir was burnt down on May 27.

Fire broke into the 53-year-old Kılıçoğlu Theater on the evening of May 27, and was only extinguished after around two hours of effort.

The building has not been in use for the last few years due to a legal battle against a project that would turn the building into a shopping mall. The movie theater was closed in 2008, in order for it to be torn down and replaced by a mall, but a court decision halted the demolition. The building has remained half-demolished since the stay of execution ruling.

The fire at the Kılıçoğlu Theater came amid ongoing controversy over the restoration of Istanbul’s Emek Theater.

The building, an iconic landmark on the central İstiklal Avenue, is set to be turned into a shopping center, while the cinema itself will be “lifted” to another floor, according those leading the project.

Last month, police detained four activists in a protest to stop the demolition during a rally, which was also attended by famous international directors Costa-Gavras and Mike Newell, as well as Turkish filmmakers and actors.