Celebrity-backed Palestinian cinema closes

One of the best-known cinemas in the Palestinian territories closes after running out of money, organizers says, six years after a grand reopening ceremony backed by international celebrities.

Demolition work had begun on Cinema Jenin after it failed to attract enough customers in recent years, says German director Marcus Vetter, one of those behind the 2010 relaunch supported by rock musician Roger Waters and human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger.

The cinema, the last in Jenin in the northern West Bank, was also used as a cultural center and theater but is now expected to be replaced by a mall.

“It is a very disappointing and sad moment,” says Vetter, explaining the heirs of the original owners had sold it for about 1.7 million euros ($1.8 million).

Built in 1957, Cinema Jenin was considered to be one of the largest and most impressive cinemas in the Palestinian territories but it shut down after the first intifada began in 1987.


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