Cinemas in İstanbul are traditionally one of the most popular social gathering mediums and therefore Cinemas of İstanbul are are spread all around the city. This article is written according to COVID-19 pandemic free conditions, but we will also mention the basic precautions for the pandemic.
Cinemas In İstanbul During Pandemic
Cinemas In İstanbul are one of the first business that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Considering the fact that cinemas in İstanbul are closed areas with the suggestion of Science Committee. Government allowed the cinemas in İstanbul to open after the first curfew but unfortunately, although they operated with limitations, because of the fact that many people gathered together for more than an hour in closed area, it did not result well.
Cinemas In İstanbul are expected to be opened in March 2021 again, but this may change any time according to the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cinemas In İstanbul’s Locations
Cinemas In İstanbul were first born in Beyoğlu region. Beyoğlu Sineması, Alkazar and Emek Sineması were used to be centre of the 7th Art of İstanbul. There were also used to be small cinemas in İstanbul spread around the city, in different districts. Nevertheless, Beyoğlu has been considered the most major district hosting the cinemas in İstanbul for decades.
A new element entered the daily life of Turkish people approximately 25 years ago, shopping centres. Families and friend groups began to prefer to go the cinemas in İstanbul with shopping centres, because they could also enjoy the food court and other retail elements before or after watching the film.
This situation lead the cinema operators to invest to the cinemas in İstanbul located in shopping centres, which also resulted with those shopping centres equipped with modern visual, sound, air conditioning and air ventilation systems became technically more superior comparing to the traditional cinemas in İstanbul.
Long story short, Beyoğlu still has a few independent cinemas but Anatolian side only has Kadıköy Kadıköy and Kadıköy Moda are left. Even the legendary Rexx has closed this year permanently. But almost all shopping centres have a cinema with a variety of qualities. For instance, Kanyon and Özdilek shopping centres have 3D cinema and İstinye Park has IMAX, which are the highest sound and visual quality.
Cinemas In İstanbul’s Food And Beverage Rules
All cinemas in İstanbul have their own snack bars offering popcorn, candies, and soft drinks but no major foods or alcohol drinks. Another rule is that it is strictly forbidden to bring food and beverages from outside. Considering the fact that cinemas in İstanbul are located in major shopping centres with food courts or central locations such as Beyoğlu and Kadıköy, you can eat first and reach to the theatre in minutes.
Cinemas In İstanbul Hosting Preview and Premiere Nights
Film producers organize the preview nights for Turkish films and distributors do the same for foreign films in cinemas in İstanbul in major shopping centres of European Side of İstanbul. Metrocity is preferred for the preview nights of more common foreign movies’ preview nights, and İstinye Park is usually preferred for the previews of more hit films. Previews in Metrocity are done in a small screening room in Thursday evenings but İstinye Park’s organisation is usually done is 10:00 a.m. of the Thursday. Kanyon and Özdilek are most popular cinemas in İstanbul for the premiere nights and cocktails of Turkish films but Akmerkez is also an option. Those are always done on Thursday evenings.
Cinema writers and people from cinema sectors are being invited to these organisations. But a small hint; all off these invitees have a plus one right. Gaining friends from these sectors may enable you to enjoy the cinemas in İstanbul in a different way, as well.
Cinemas In İstanbul Hosting Festivals
Some chain operators of cinemas in İstanbul were used to organize their own festivals in the past, but those have cancelled those festivals because of commercial reasons. Nevertheless İstanbul is a city of festivals and cinema, therefore people who have dedicated themselves to the 7th heart are still organising many film festivals of cinemas in İstanbul.
There are also some minor independent festivals being made but those might not be able have annual turns. Nevertheless, most significant film festivals are given below, which are showing the films with English sub-titles. All of those are being done annually, but the situation in 2021 is not certain yet due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, they might also have online broadcasts which is to be decided according to the suggestions of Science Committee, decision of the organizers themselves and of course, decision of the government.
- Akbank Short Film Festival – March
- Istanbul Film Festival – 2nd week of April
- Filmekimi – October
- Crime And Punishment Film Festival – October or November
- Bosporus Film Festival – November
- Randevous İstanbul – December
Some independent cinemas in İstanbul show festival films continuously, such as Kadıköy Kadıköy but also some chain operators rent out some of their theatres temporarily. This organization is done by a body named Başka Sinema and you can check the available theatres from their website. Just keep in mind that these showings are done in festival conditions, which means you can never enter the theatre after the film starts, no matter how early you have bought your ticket or whatever your excuse is. This is an unwritten rule for independent cinemas in İstanbul supporting independent films.
Cinemas in İstanbul are simple but major elements of daily life for everyone young and old alike. Children enjoy cartoons and such children’s films with their parents, young generation use them for social gathering, people who are more enthusiastic for better sound and visual systems that they cannot have in their homes; everyone who enjoys watching films miss going to cinemas in İstanbul. We all are looking forward to the end of COVID-19 pandemic and normalisation of daily life, not only for vital health concerns, economic shrinkage or boredom of lockdowns, but also for simple tastes that this city has to offer such as the cinemas in İstanbul.