Since the closing of Stars Cinema 27 years ago, the Nabatiyeh area in South Lebanon has gone without.

But that’s all about to change. After working on re-opening the Al Hamra cinema in Tyre, actor and director Kassem Istanbuli’s next project is the re-opening of Stars Cinema.

This personal initiative taken by Istanbuli is an important one. Stars Cinema is the last remaining historical building in all of Nabatiyeh, and it is time for it to be resurrected.

The impressive project aims to collect all the garbage surrounding the building, to recycle that material, and build a stage directly on the garbage. The stage will host many cultural events, theatrical performances, and movie screenings, providing a much needed cultural and artistic hub for the city and its surrounding areas. The second step of the project will be to bring an International film festival to the theater, to help revive the city and allow its citizens to nurture their creative sides.

The stage, under construction.

Under Istanbuli’s direction, Tyre has experienced a boom in cultural activities and festivals. The Al Hamra Cinema experience has proven that a well managed cultural space has the ability to attract all sorts of artistic activities to the city, bringing people together to learn, work on common projects, and enjoy themselves. The best part? The management of the Al Hamra cinema make sure that all events, festivals, and screenings are completely free to the public.

Remnants of the war.

"I want to create a national stage for all Lebanese people, for all of us to be able to express ourselves through art and have a cultural hub," Istanbuli told
Istanbouli also recalled the rich cultural history of Nabatiyeh, and the many cinemas the city had: The Roxy, The Capitol, The Abu Amin Cinema, all of which closed down. The Rivoli and The Capitol cinemas were destroyed during conflicts, and have been replaced by a mall and a bank respectively.

Stars Cinema will be a space to promote cultural projects and artistic events, something our community is in desperate need of.

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