Who will save the Beyoğlu Cinema?

Who will save the Beyoğlu Cinema?

In some cities, roads that witness history are considered to be the symbols of that city.

İstiklal Avenue is one of them. Beyoğlu cinema, situated on İstiklal, has recently announced its closure.

I believe the state should protect these types of buildings, support them and provide financial assistance.

 Unfortunately, due to high rent prices, İstiklal is losing its former characteristic; bookstores, music stores, art and culture institutes are moving to different locations and are replaced by other businesses.

I received a couple of emails from Jak Şalom, the founder of Sinematek, which he is nowadays trying to keep alive with the help of the Kadıköy Municipality. He makes some suggestions both to save the cinema and also so that İstiklal does not become a victim to the relentless trending urge of becoming a place for businesses. 

“Beyoğlu Cinema is closing its doors on June 30. This information was confirmed by the director of the cinema, Temel Kerimoğlu. Although we have known about the problems of the cinema for the past 10 years the news of its closure has suddenly affected us deeply. The cinema’s debt is huge and only if it is paid the cinema can be saved. In ideal definition of statehood, it could have been possible to solve this with the support of the state and the municipality but I don’t think this is possible. Perhaps instead of asking ‘why Beyoğlu Cinema ended like this,’ we should start by asking ‘what happened that Beyoğlu and the İstiklal Avenue have up ended like this?’ One of Istanbul’s symbolic streets, İstiklal Avenue is far from its popularity due to ongoing construction works,” Şalom said. 

What is the solution?

Şalom makes a call to artists; he wants them to financially support the cinema.

He reminds us of Quantin Tarantino, who financially supported the New Beverly Cinema, which was facing the risk of being closed in 2007. When he saw that that was not enough to save it, he ended up buying the cinema.

In a way, Şalom is making a call to movie directors, and I hope someone will hear his call.

Beyoğlu Cinema, in a statement, said: “We tried to stand on our feet, for a very long time, among the monopolized entertainment and distribution chains. The Beyoğlu Cinema faced closure in 2013 at a time when we could no longer pay our expenses and could not set up the new changing cinema technologies.

 ‘Another cinema’ came to our support and made a sacrifice. We have come so far. But we still cannot cover our fixed expenses. We looked for sponsors, but we could not find any. We tried to curb the expenses, we could not. In such a predicament, it has become impossible to continue our efforts to contribute, which we have been doing since 1989, to the Beyoğlu Cinema.

The cinema is closing its doors on June 30. There will be someone who will find a way to save us from everything becoming a single color. We hope.”

Let’s not lose our hope.