This content is not available in your region

Palestinian wedding hall preserves treasures of its cinematic past

Access to the comments Comments
Palestinian wedding hall preserves treasures of its cinematic past
A Palestinian worker sits on a seat in a former cinema that was turned into a wedding hall, in Tulkarm in the Israeli-occupied West Bank February 27, 2019. Picture taken February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta   -   Copyright  RANEEN SAWAFTA(Reuters)
Text size Aa Aa

TULKARM, West Bank (Reuters) – Posters of classic movies are scattered on the upper floor of Abdel-Rahim Hanoun’s wedding hall, signs of the building’s past life as one of the few cinemas in the West Bank.

Hanoun’s father built the movie house in 1965 in the Palestinian city of Tulkarm, two years before the West Bank was captured by Israel in a Middle East war.

It closed down after a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation erupted in 1987 and reopened temporarily in 1994 with the signing of an interim peace accord.

Hanoun, 60, then turned the movie theatre into Al-Andalus Cinema and Wedding Hall, keeping now-disused projectors and rolls of film on the top floor, which wedding guests often ask to see.

Posters on the floor are printed with the Hebrew names of Indian and Chinese movies. Hanoun used to buy foreign films from Israel and Arabic movies from Jordan.

“Just as the cinema was one of the first in the West Bank, I was the first to have a wedding hall where people hold their parties,” said Hanoun. “There are many people who never watched a movie inside a cinema and some who yearn for the old days.”

There are currently four cinemas in the West Bank.

“I hope I can operate the cinema again, but I can’t afford it financially now,” Hanoun said.

(Reporting by Nidal Almughrabi and Ali Sawafta; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Alexandra Hudson)

euronews provides breaking news articles from reuters as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. Articles appear on for a limited time.