Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The Bosphorus straits divides the city into a part that sits on the European continent, and a larger part on the continent of Asia. The militarily and economically strategic position of the city, on the western portion of the Silk Road, and on the shipping route between the Aegean and Black Seas, has kept it cosmopolitan and prosperous since its foundation 660 BCE, when it was called Byzantium. In 330 it became Constantinople, the capital of the Roman Empire, named for Emperor Constantine the Great. The Ottomans conquered the city in 1453/857 AH and renamed the city Istanbul. It served as their capital until Ankara became the capital of the modern nation of Turkey.
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.
Gökmen, Mustafa. Eski İstanbul Sinemaları. İstanbul: İstanbul Kitaplığı Yayınları, 1991, 267pp.
Cinemas of Old Istanbul
Eski 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 Oriental 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.