Oldie but goldie: Starsbourg's cinema odyssey celebrates 100th year with Turkish flavor
The logo of the Cinema Odyssée features the eye of Turkey’s veteran actress Hülya Koçyiğit. DHA photosAmong the world’s five oldest movie theaters, Cinema Odyssée opened on Jan. 3, 1914 in French city of Strasbourg is celebrating its 100th anniversary. At a special celebration event on Jan. 3, Faruk Günaltay, who has been the director of the movie theater for 22 years, screened German director Paul Wegener’s film “The Student of Prague,” which was screened in the movie theater 100 years ago.
Among the attendees of the birthday event were Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries, Deputy Mayor Nawel Rafik Elmrini, Strasbourg Trade Chamber President Jean-Louis Hoerle, Turkey’s Ambassador to Strasbourg Serdar Cengiz, Ambassador Rauf Engin Soysal and his wife Tülay Soysal as well as ambassadors from 47 countries in the city and their wives, culture and arts representatives, academics and top officials.
German-French songs were performed for guests at the event and Günaltay provided information about the history and architecture of the historic Cinema Odyssée. The 100th birthday, which drew great attention from French journalists, ended with a cocktail party. Odyssee has been hosting the 25th Turkish Cinema Days for three weeks. It will continue until Jan. 14, promoting Turkish films in Europe. French citizens have displayed great interest in the cinema days.
“Strasbourg is at the same time the cultural capital of Europe. The city, which is the second largest city after Paris, has 47 embassies and 15 consulate generals. Our first goal is to support European cinema and introduce it to the world. The second goal is to introduce world cinema to Strasbourg. Cinema films were screened in Cinema Odyssee between 1914 and 1986. But the movie theater could not survive because of economic problems between 1986 and 1992. Later on, 3 million euros renovations were completed and the movie theater was reopened on Sept. 24, 1992.”
Günaltay said the Turkish Cinema Days started in 1992 and more than 360 Turkish films were shown in the last 22 years. “No movie theater in Turkey screened 360 Turkish films in 22 years. This is another
difference with Cinema Odyssey,” he added.
Among Turkish artists who attended the Turkish Cinema Days at Cinema Odyssée were Türkan Şoray, Fatma Grik, Selda Alkor, Hülya Koçyiğit, Sera Yılmaz, Müjde Ar, Ezel Akay, Nurgül Yeşilçay, Nehir Erdoğan, Meltem Cumbul, Deniz Türkali, Beren Saat, Tarık Akan, Haluk Bayülgen, Mustafa Altıoklar, Selçuk Yöntem, Osman Sınav, Can Dündar, Uğur Yücel, Şener Şen, Reis Çelik, Derviş Zaim, Yavuz Bingöl, Zeki Demirkubuz, Sinan Çetin, Zülfü Livaneli and Avni Özgürel.