The Grand Theatre Beirut – Beirut's long gone theatre

arts&culture
Art & culture

"The Grand Theatre" in Beirut has long stopped hosting plays and showing movies, but a lot of people discovered this landmark during the protests...

The Grand Theatre is a historical landmark that dates back to 1929 which once hosted world-famous artists like the Comédie Française, the Ballet des Champs-Elysées, the Egyptian Ramses Group, and concerts by Abdel Wahab and Um Kalthoum.

You can still see parts of the theatre curtains and some seats left, keeping in mind that it is currently abandoned, but once you go inside, it's like you went back in time to the old glamorous days of the '50s. Can you imagine that my grandfather watched a movie inside The Grand Theatre?!

It used to host plays up until the early '60s, but in the late '60s and early '70s it started showing movies only. During the Lebanese Civil War it was a spot for snipers to take rest behind its facade.

During the mass protests in the previous years, a lot of Lebanese people got the chance to visit it more and take over this space to protest. This made me feel happy, because The Grand Theatre was only known by those who visited it intentionally. Still, the upper floor got locked by the government and is surrounded by bricks, but you can sneak inside from the back if you're lucky enough!

About this spot

Bechara El Khoury

LBP

no-price

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