Cinemas of Old Istanbul

Gökmen, Mustafa. Eski İstanbul
İstanbul Kitaplığı Yayınları, 1991, 267pp.




Cinemas of Old Istanbul


İstanbul Sinemaları


The book
provides information on the first cinemas that opened in Istanbul at the
beginning of the twentieth century, basing its analysis on the sources from
that period. In the introduction, all cinemas that opened in Istanbul between
the years 1900 and 1950 are listed in alphabetical order, with each cinema
given a number. A chronological list of the cinemas is also provided.


It is possible
to search a cinema by its number on the chronological list, find its address,
and gain access to references to its premises in the daily newspapers and
magazines of the time. In providing this information, the author himself has
made use of contemporary newspapers and magazines, the Annuaire Oriental, and
other sources on the topic.


The author has
also supplied a list of the owners of these cinemas, who could be Muslims,
non-Muslims or members of the Levantine community. A list of the non-Muslim
cinema owners who were charged with the “Wealth Tax” in 1942 is provided.


The book
includes a list of all the cinemas that showed foreign films with Turkish
dubbing, as well as those that showed the first Turkish films. In the section
entitled “the archives”, the author has included internal architectural plans
of some of the cinemas and has used lengthy extracts from the Annuaire Oriental that give details on
the addresses and owners of the city’s cinemas between the years 1912 and 1950.
The book also provides brief biographical details on some of the cinema-owners.


In the section
that follows “the archives” we find photographs of the cinemas. Some sample
pages from old newspapers in Ottoman Turkish, correspondence of the
cinema-owning families, the Annuaire
and modern Turkish newspapers can be found in the “documents”
section of the book. In the “maps” section, there is a plan of the locations of
the cinemas. The ads and announcements given by the cinemas can be found in a
separate section. The book could be beneficial to those looking for general
information on the topic, as it provides some useful encyclopaedic information
on Istanbul’s cinemas.



by Aysu Dinçer


Tansuğ, Feryal. '"English abstract of 'Cinemas of Old Istanbul'". Translated by Aysu Dinçer. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 40. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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