After 74 years the Rama Theater, sitting on 57 Jabotinsky Street, is being torn down. In the next months a 22-story high-rise will erupt from under the rubble and only a sad looking wall of shame will remind us of the place it once was. The rain is falling, the walls are crying and the memories are slowly washed down and are seeping into the filthy ground, where the Rama Theater is buried, deep inside the decaying history of a city that wants to forget. May our regrets rest in peace…
Camera and editor: Yaniv Berman
Music: Le Orme
57 Jabotinsky Street – Part 1
The old “Rama” cinema theatre was designed by the German-Polish engineer Leopold Lustig, with influence of the great Art-Deco buildings of the thirties. The structure was completed with the aid of engineer Israel Michaeli in 1938, and was the pride of the Jewish settlement. The impressive structure sits on 1,178 square meters, and in its glory days thousand spectators sat inside the main hall and gallery. “Rama” theatre flourished in the years preceding the Israeli declaration of independence, and was a drawing center to the entire population of Jewish people and Muslims that lived in the area.
In the 80th the competition between the cinemas was hard and a theatre with only one great hall playing just one movie at a time couldn’t bring enough audience to cover all the expanses. 1982 was the year when the “Rama” theatre was terminally closed. From that moment the deserted theatre began to rot, and in 1992 a part of the ceiling fell and made a lot of internal damage. On the other hand, this rotting process gave the place a life of its own. Straying cats, doves and bats made this place their new home. Also people came from time to time and enjoyed the special atmosphere of the place, and some of them even left their artistic mark behind.
During the long years that the “Rama” theatre sat lonely and deserted, it has changed many hands, and also collected a huge property tax debt to the city. In a very controversial decision the city decided to cut the debt in more than 70%, so it could be sold to a new owner who will be able to revive it. Even though this place is considered to be “historic” and should be treated as such, the new owner decided to build a tower residential building of 23 floors, preserving only the front wall of the old Art-Deco Theater. In November 2011 the bulldozers arrived and started the process of destroying the old structure, and making it a new residential monster.
(The vision and the destruction)
During the following months I’ll keep documenting the new “Rama” project, and bring further updates.
Jabotinsky 27 on XNET.