A resident of Gemayzeh since the 50s recalls cinemas and concerts fever
80 years old French women, Marie-Louise moved to Gemayzeh with her Lebanese husband since the 50s. She recalls the cultural life of that time when Gemayzeh was still enjoying “a serene" ambiance, she said. "I remember very well the first movie I watched with my husband, it was "Duel au soleil” by Gregory Lepec in Dunia Cinema, which was located near St-Gregoire Church in Downtown. This cinema had a wide selection of international films; I used to go a lot to watch my favorite movies.” I have always been a big fan of cinema. The film that really marked me was also showing at Dunia Cinema, “Les Violettes impériales“ with the great Luis Marianno. It was very amusing because while watching the film, a perfume of violets was spread in the theater so that the audience could really feel the ambiance of the film! As for Byblos Cinema, it used to line up good selection of films such as: Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Zorba....”
"For me, 1974 is the year of the apotheosis of Beirut. No war or conflicts, people lived happily and most of all peacefully. Tourism was noticeably booming, they are only beautiful memories. At this time, all famous singers have performed in Beirut, it was a inevitable destination. Concerts of Les Compagnons de la Chanson, Mireille Mathieu, Nana Mouskouri, Demis Roussos, Dalida in 54, Julio Iglesias, Renatto Carusone and many others were sold out. There were also musicals, ballets. Did you know that the Bolshoï Ballet has also performed at the Capitol Cinema? I watched it too! "
Pierre, 62 years old is still living in Gemayzeh
"Until today, I still laugh whenever I remember that I used to take the tram to cross the city center. These means of transportations at that time were very slow, so that many people could go and get off without having to pay a ticket. The technique was to stay behind the car. When the controller used to go on board, it was enough for them to get off from the back door, and walk alongside the tram back to the front door. I was bursting in laughter every time I saw someone doing that.