Movie posters are seen inside the Omar al-Mokhtar cinema, also known as Paradise, the only cinema still showing movies in the Libyan capital Tripoli on August 26, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA
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The Libyan capital once boasted grand movie houses that packed in smartly dressed couples for a special night out, but how times have changed.Today, the sole major cinema left in Tripoli is a men-only zone stripped of glamour, offering a diet of violence-packed films and blunt warnings that women are not welcome.Films full of blood and violence like "Scarface" and "Die Hard" pass muster with the militias that have controlled the city since August 2014, driving Libya's elected parliament and internationally recognized government to take refuge in the far east of the country.In 1969, the bloodless coup which overthrew Libya's monarchy and brought Colonel Gadhafi to power swept away the old order.Under his rule, the cinema was seen as frivolous and superfluous. Businesses were nationalized and foreign films were a "cultural invasion".
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