Ampere Cinema Tripoli Returns After a 28-Year Absence

Ampere Cinema is the oldest cinema in the history of Lebanon. It was built in 1932 and can accommodate 780 chairs and has a hall and a balcony. It is a cinema and theater that witnessed the golden age of cinema in Lebanon and closed in 1989 because of the war. It is located in the center of Tripoli in the Al-Tal area, near the clock tower, which symbolizes the city of Tripoli.

After three decades of its closure, it returns after its rehabilitation by Tiro Association for Arts (TAA) to be transformed into the free Lebanese National Theater, in conjunction with the launch of the first international theater festival in the history of Tripoli, Northern Lebanon. It will organize free training workshops for children and youth, as well as a free, independent cultural space for all people, in which films, plays, musicals, and artistic performances are available to the public. 

“Tiro Association for Arts” and “Istanbouli Theatre” announced the first edition of the “Tripoli International Theatre Festival” from the 27th of August to the 30th of August, coinciding with the reopening of “Ampere Cinema” after a 28-year closure, to become ” The Lebanese National Theatre”, a free, independent, cultural platform for people, with training workshops, festivals, art performances, and a public library. Submissions for participation in the festival from Lebanon and abroad are now being accepted until the 10th of July. The festival, and diverse participating performances including Algeria, Tunisia, Mexico, Iraq, Oman, Italy, Spain, and Lebanon.

Kassem Istanbouli, founder of the Lebanese National Theatre, emphasised: “The festival’s goal is to establish an international theatrical movement and festival in Tripoli, Lebanon’s first free theatre and cinema, and thanks to the efforts of youth volunteers, we achieved post-cultural centralization, broke down the imaginary wall between Lebanese regions through art, and linked them together through cultural platforms and we are delighted to be living the dream in Tripoli, Lebanon’s largest city with cinemas, with approximately 35 halls, where the first acting arts institute was established”.

Saturday, August 27th, 2022

–        “Al Zamkan” from Algeria at 7 p.m.

Sunday, August 28th, 2022

–        “Hikayat Darwich” from Tunisia at 1 p.m.

–        “Your Stories on Stage” by the Laban theater collective from Lebanon at 6 p.m.

–        “Burning Like a Gryphon” (Ahtarek Kal Aanka’) from Kurdistan Iraq at 8 p.m.

Monday, August 29th, 2022

–        “Phobia” from Iraq at 1 p.m.

–        Playback theater performance by the Sada troupe from Lebanon at 6 p.m.

–         “Art of Clowning” from Italy at 7 p.m.

–         “How to Boil an Egg?” from Oman at 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

–        “Stories from Al Tal” by Tiro Association for Arts (TAA) theatrical troupe from Lebanon at 1 p.m.

–        “Antigone” from Mexico and Spain at 6 p.m.

–        “Scream of Loyalty” by the Folklore Arts troupe from Lebanon at 8 p.m.

Announcing the festival’s awardees at 9 p.m.

Prizes will also be distributed in the categories of Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Script, Best Scenography, Best Direction, and Best Integrated Work. The jury award consists of Spanish director Ana Cendrero Alvarez, actor Omar Mikati and director Salah Atwi from Lebanon.

Tiro Association for Arts, led by youth and volunteers, aims to create free and independent cultural spaces in Lebanon by rehabilitating the Hamra Cinema, Cinema Stars in Nabatiyeh, Rivoli Cinema in Tyre,  Ampere Cinema in Tripoli, both of which has been transformed into the Lebanese National Theatre as Lebanon’s first free theatre and cinema, and by establishing workshops and artistic training for children and youth, reopening and rehabilitating cultural spaces, organising festivals, and acting as a platform for artists and on weaving interactional networks with international festivals and opening up opportunities for young directors to present their films and introduce the audience to the history of cinema and local and international performances, among the festivals it founded are: The Lebanese International Theatre Festival  ,Tyre International Film Festival for Short Films, Tyre International Festival for Fine Arts, Tyre Cultural Days Festival, Lebanon Theater Festival for Women’s Monodrama, and Lebanon Contemporary Dance Theater Festival, The Lebanese International Theatre Festival for Storytellers, Tyre International Music Festival, Tiro Arts International Festival and Watch Lebanon Through Mobile Cinema Festival.