The Lev Smadar Cinema, with its different names over the years, is a Jerusalem institution which achieved an iconic status in the memories of many Jerusalemites, especially those who live in the city in the 50s and 60s. This is the only movie theatre in Jerusalem, which operated almost continuously for 80 years. The building was built in 1928. Initially used by the British Army and a few years later opened commercially until, in 1950 it was purchased by Arie Chechick. His family owns the theatre until today.
Smadar Cinema was always known as a homey and friendly place, and stories about the management style of Chechick who served as a cashier, usher and projectionist simultaneously are still told today, as well as his custom of rolling drinking bottles from the last row down the slope and sticking filters of smoked cigarettes on the ceiling… many recall with nostalgia the innovative marketing initiative started by Chechick in the late 50s: two matinees in one card, a Western and knights movie or a war movie.
On Fridays the theatre was particularly full and it is currently almost the only theater open on weekends. Since the mid-90s it is operated under the Lev Chain of theatres, known for its quality films. The theatre has its own café – so you can watch a movie while sipping a cup of coffee or drinking a beer. The theatre is open cinema starting from the afternoon on weekdays and on weekends throughout the day, from morning.