Iconic Istanbul cinema hall to be pulled down
Construction work to pull down the Rexx Cinema Hall, a famous landmark of the Kadıköy district of Istanbul, has started, the Eastern Orthodox Foundation, which owns the 59-year-old building, has said.
The building was seen surrounded by temporary steel barriers on Dec. 6.
“Instead of one cinema hall, we are going to build a compound, something like a culture center,” said Kostandin Kiracopulu, the head of the foundation.
According to the plan, a spacious car parking lot and halls for different cultural activities will be on the premises.
Gökçe Pehlivanoğlu, a film director, said she was very sad about “losing Rexx.”
“Rexx was a special place for Kadıköy residents and cinema-lovers. It was the main bus stop in our youth. To tell the truth, when we lose Rexx, I will feel like my history will be erased,” added Pehlivanoğlu.
Atilla Dorsay, a prominent cinema critic, expressed his sorrow, too. “They want to smash down the halls rather than protecting them. Without thinking of alternatives, they tear the buildings down. That saddens me,” said Dorsay.
The beginning of the end for Rexx started in March when Viron Anas, the manager who ran the movie house for 30 years, decided to close down the hall as he could not afford to cover the losses.
The foundation then announced the idea of a new cultural center, saying, “It is not an earthquake-resistant building anyway. We will pull it down.”