The building which accommodates Atlas Cinema also hosts a unique museum. Sharing nostalgia-loaded scenes from Turkish movies as well as several memories regarding them, Atlas Cinema introduces a new museum into culture and art life in İstanbul. One of the earliest examples of Beyoğlu’s reorganisation period, this building showcases neo-classical influences which saw the classic style revived in the 19th century. Its impressive ceiling decorations, marble fireplaces, and plaster reliefs perfectly reflect the architectural style of its era. Also known as Koceyen Mansion, the building is believed to have been constructed as a winter residence in 1870 by Agop Koceyan who was a prominent business person at that time. The structure, which served the occupying forces of the English army as a court between 1918-1922, was later converted to PTT General Directorate.
Atlas Passage, where today’s museum is located, was turned into a centre of arts and entertainment following the repairments in 1932. 16 years thus spent, Atlas Cinema, one of the largest movie houses in Beyoğlu with its 1,860-seat capacity, was founded. Going through a few phases, the building was allocated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 1992, and a comprehensive restoration was thus started in 2019. The cinema museum idea, which was born at the time of the restoration, helped form a centre which would shed light on İstanbul’s culture and arts life in every aspect.
All sections of the museum, which consists of a total of three floors, can be seen with one ticket. Whereas the first two floors serve as a permanent museum, the third hosts temporary exhibitions. Among the most interesting exhibits of the museum are the vax figures of actors and actresses whom we have watched and seen since our childhood, personal belongings of a few prominent directors as well as movie posters. İstanbul Cinema Museum is the first museum to use a digital memory pool application and offers through it an amazing information repository, providing insight into plenty of actors, actresses, directors, scenarists, producers, and other cinema workers. With its rich past and modern infrastructure, İstanbul Cinema Museum, where digital interaction meets cultural values, is sure to become an irreplaceable stop on Beyoğlu Culture Road.
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