Archive for the ‘Running Cinema Jenin’ Category

Newsletter November 2013: Music and Theatre at Cinema Jenin

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Dear Cinema Jenin friends and supporters,
We are happy to be able to send you the latest Cinema Jenin newsletter written from our team in Jenin under the direction of Dr. Lamei Assir.

Watch here the latest Newsletter from Cinema Jenin

During the past year, Cinema Jenin was able to develop the city of Jenin into a cultural epicenter by creating a regular Movie program and bringing Music and Theatre into the Cinema. An impressive event this year, was the Premier of “Peter Pan” on April 4th, 2013. “Peter Pan” is a musical play prepared and performed by the Freedom Theater. The troupe combined stage action with the big screen in a virtuosic way, creating an unforgettable performance.

The Teaser can be viewed here:

A further Highlight in the last year was the Dresdner Symphoniker concert, which had it’s premier in Cinema Jenin on June 2nd . It was supported by the German Kulturstiftung des Bundes…

Read the rest of this entry »

Big storm in March of this year affecting the Cafeteria and Open Air Cinema

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

It was an unusual incident that shocked the workers at Cinema Jenin when it happened towards the end of March. Every thing started to get blown away by a strong windy weather accompanied by some rain. The large black fabric cover sheltering the area next to the cafeteria kitchen fell down as the four steel pillars supporting it started shaking and losing their anchors in the ground.
Also the screen and the stage (platform) lost some of its wood due to both wind and rain which we had to replace costing around $5000.

(Almost) business as usual

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

After a few weeks of silence after Juliano Mer Khamis’ death, we would like to tell you that this silence was not the result of the closing down of the cinema. Although the situation in Jenin is quite uncertain at the moment and most of our volunteers decided to leave the city for a while, our great Palestinian staff has taken over all responsibilities and continues the work for the ongoing success of our project. Nevertheless, we cannot accept any applications for voluntary work right now, but will inform you as soon as the situation changes!


Daily Work in Cinema Jenin

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

In the following a few impressions of the daily work of the Cinema.

You see Hatem and Shadi selling cinema tickets at the ticket corner. Shadi is also our graphic designer and does the artwork for the programm flyer.

Then you see Abdullah, who is the projectionist of the Cinema.

And to watch a good movie you really need popcorn, that you can get from Allam, who is also running our cafeteria in the garden in the summer months.

Hatem and ShadiAbdullahAllam

State of the Project

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Hello out there, friends of Cinema Jenin! It’s been quite awhile since we last published some news on this site, so it’s about time you get an update!

Jenin's kids at the ticket window

   Jenin's kids at the ticket window

As you might know, we managed to open the cinema in the beginning of August. The very day after the opening, we assumed regular operations in the cinema. We were open every day for the whole month of Ramadan, which started a few days after the Opening. During this time, we offered film screenings inside of the cinema, as well as live transmissions of the popular Bab-al-Harah Ramadan-Soap on the open-air screen behind the cinema. To give you an idea of how popular: the final episodes were attended by more guests than the Soccer World Cup Final, and emotions boiled significantly higher – I never heard so many people cheer when a bad guy was brought to justice!

The end of Ramadan was celebrated with the Eid-al-Fidr (“Feast of Sugar”), and we used the occasion to premier a new Egyptian Comedy, along with several animated films. As a special treat, we also screened “My father the Turk” in attendance of Marcus Vetter, who held a spontaneous Q&A session after the screening.

Family seating area on the balcony

Family seating area on the balcony

During the whole Feast, we started screening films at 10 AM, and had our last show at 9 PM. Families and youngsters from Jenin turned up in such large numbers that we even had a couple of shows that were completely sold out!

But after that, things took a more negative direction. The fact that we were still highly indebted from the Opening started to become an obvious hindrance to the further success of the Cinema. Crippling us in our ability to invest, we could no longer rent new films. For example, a 35 mm film copy from Egypt costs 3000 $ and up, just to give you an idea. Without new films, the numbers of visitors started to drop steadily, leading us into a vicious circle that prevented us from lifting ourselves out of the debt! So there we were, the cinema with the best technology in the Westbank and beyond, showing films that were already on television.

Making matters even worse, some of our long-time volonteers were forced to leave the project in favor of payed jobs, because we could not offer them any salaries for their amazing work. This left us in the most depressing situation I personally encountered in the project since I joined it more than a year ago.

Concert at Cinema Jenin

   Concert at Cinema Jenin

Fortunately though, there was another Eid! In the mid of November, Jenin celebrated the Eid-al-Sagheer (“Feast of Slaughter”), and the remaining team in Jenin organized another special program with up to four shows every day. Despite of the program still consisting of older films, people from Jenin and the surrounding villages came back to the cinema in large numbers. This was also thanks to theatre performances and concerts we organized with a local theatre ensemble and a band from Jenin. This enabled us to purchase two new films from Egypt, and thereby presenting Jenin once again an attractive program.

Since the middle of January, we increased our program to four days a week, and it seems that our stubbornness is starting to be rewarded – people realize that the cinema is reliable, and that we keep the promises we make by publishing our program. Slowly, visitor numbers have picked up in the last two weeks, and we are confident that this trend will continue!

Theater performance at Cinema Jenin

Theater performance at Cinema Jenin

To ensure this, we do need your support, though! Please donate to Cinema Jenin! At this stage, the Cinema Jenin Project is not yet self-sustainable. We can barely pay salaries to the Palestinian team, and it will still take a couple of weeks until we can afford to bring new films. Please help us in preventing another vicious circle! We are working very hard to establish Cinema Jenin as an important cultural center in Jenin and all of Palestine, with a diverse program that goes far beyond cinema. Please support us with your donations! Thank You!

Franz Stephan Macher

Cinema Manager