In Cinema in UAE, Emirati artist Ammar Al Attar explores cultural practices around film, such as the weekly family ritual of attending the cinema, or the posters that exhibitors use to promote films for diverse audiences, offering us a glimpse into the history of film culture and theatrical film exhibition. He provides a comprehensive account of cinema culture in the UAE and Gulf, by reaching back to Al Mahatta, Sharjah, 1948, and the opening of the Royal Air Force Cinema, and bringing forth a wide range of stories which are often not acknowledged and in many cases unknown.

Al Attar reworks images from movie posters, film prints, and shipping and box-office receipts for popular films from South Asia, the Middle East, and Hollywood, to convey the richly intercultural movie-going traditions of the UAE. He complements this with salvaged exhibitor paraphernalia, such as a slide projector and glass slides used to announce audience etiquette or advertise local businesses.

In conjunction with the Film and Visual Media in the Gulf: Images, Infrastructures, and Institutions: Connecting Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the World — a conference convened by Alia Yunis and Dale Hudson October 28–30, 2018, at the NYUAD Institute.

Image: Collected Broken Theater Chairs from 1970s
Year: 2016
Medium: Wood


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