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Ask anyone in Lebanon to recall life during the halcyon pre-Civil War days and they'll probably tell you about going to the cinema.Corresponding to this period was a golden age of Lebanese theater. In Tyre, Al-Hamra Cinema was the heart of the city's cultural life, a meeting point for lovers of film and theater. This month, Al-Hamra is scheduled to reopen, thanks to a passionate restoration campaign led by actor and director Kassem Istanbouli.Istanbouli opened a small performing arts space, the Istanbouli Theater, in the southern city in January.Istanbouli says he will assume responsibility for the theater's programming, explaining that the space will serve as a much-needed addition to the city's cultural scene, which currently lacks an independent theater.
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