Istanbul Cinema Museum opens after restoration
Within the scope of a restoration project, a historical theater in Istanbul, along with a cinema museum, opened its doors on Feb. 26 at a ceremony in the presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and many prominent figures from the culture and art world.
The historical Atlas Cinema and the Istanbul Cinema Museum in Istanbul’s teeming Beyoğlu district are parts of Turkey’s Beyoğlu Culture Road project, which covers an area stretching from Galataport to Taksim Square, linking cultural venues in the district, including Atatürk Cultural Center and the Galata Tower.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said the restoration work took two years to complete.
“I think we can define this work as ‘art within art’ in the simplest terms. With a neoclassical facade, rare putto figures, ceiling paintings, reliefs, marble fireplaces and different architectural elements, the building itself is like an art exhibition,” Ersoy said.
Noting that the unique structure was restored to its essence with very delicate and detailed restoration work, Ersoy said, “The Istanbul Cinema Museum was created with its rich collection prepared by blending traditional and contemporary museology approach and the Atlas Cinema within its body.”
Defining the first floor of the museum as “the memory pool of Turkish cinema,” Ersoy said: “It is a very comprehensive field of digital interaction applications. We offer our visitors an enormous pool of information that includes 8,406 films and 31,106 figures consisting of actors, directors, screenwriters, producers and cinema workers with the digital memory pool application, which is being used for the first time in a cinema museum in the world.”
Highlighting that the Istanbul Cinema Museum also contains the most important devices used in the history of cinema in its collection, Ersoy said, “A camera, which is a very special piece in terms of the history of the Turkish Republic as it recorded Mustafa Kemal Atatürk during the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Republic on Oct. 29, 1933, is waiting for our visitors together with the private archive footage of our General Directorate of Cinema.”
Ersoy also said that with the important awards won in Turkish cinema, the clothes and accessories used in the most popular films of the period were also in the collection.
Stating that the third floor of the cinema museum will be used as a temporary exhibition space, Ersoy said the fourth floor would serve as a common study area.
“It will be used as an education and interaction area where young people and amateur filmmakers will come together with the professionals of the sector, share and gain knowledge, ideas and experiences through seminars and interviews,” he added.
Ersoy underlined that Atlas Cinema is an integral part of the building that opened its doors for the first time 73 years ago, adding, “The Istanbul Cinema Museum and Atlas Cinema, with their technology, collection and institutional structure, have become an exceptional art center that hosts, entertains and educates.”