Or Search News in GUC Calendar

Egyptian Film Museum in Downtown Cairo

In Academic, Thursday, March 03, 2016

“Cairo – Hollywood of the Middle East”. Talking about the Arab film culture means talking about the Egyptian film industry. Since the beginning of the cinematography in the late 19th century Egypt has taken part of this development. Until today the Egyptian film industry is the largest within Arabic-speaking cinema and has become an undeniable reference of popular culture to the Arab world. The need for new cinema buildings in the first half of the 20th century left in downtown Cairo a high number of cinemas behind, dating into the decade from the mid 1930s to the mid 1940s. The historic movie theatres in downtown Cairo are not only relicts were people used to go to the movies but are rather more witnesses of the social and cultural legacy related to Egypt’s golden age of cinema culture. Recent plans for a museum preserving and presenting film history had been stopped due to 2011s revolution. Inspired by our last semester’s course about historic art-deco cinema architecture we came up with the idea to design a new film museum building for Cairo. The chosen location is close to the places where the historic cinemas were and still are: Downtown Cairo, between old Opera Square and Ataba Square. The site works as a link between the “old” and the “new” part of the inner city, redefining the historic Ataba Square. Not only had the students to improve the urban context but also reflect how a museum can do justice to the special features of the medium of film with its specific temporal and technical preconditions and how film can be exhibited as both, an artistic product and a cultural and historical document.


Involved Academics:

Assoc. Prof. Thomas Loeffler Msc. Martin Saehlhof

Teaching Assistants:

Ahmed Ghazy Hassan Abdallah Islam Tarek