Jerusalem residents protest for right to have movie theater opened on Saturdays

Jerusalem residents & activists rally against a municipality agreement which dictates that currently under construction Cinema City, will be closed on Shabbat.

‘Logic says that we should win,’ one protester says. Jerusalem Deputy mayor says that’s highly unlikely.

By Noam (Dabul) Dvir

Dozens of Jerusalem residents joined a protest at Safra Square on Saturday, calling on the municipality to open a new compound containing restaurants and a movie theater on Saturdays and holidays.

According to the agreement between the Finance Ministry, the property developer and the municipality, the Cinema City compound which is located at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center parking lot and is scheduled to open in the coming months – will work only on weekdays.

Residents and activists from various groups, including Awakening, Meretz and Be Free Israel, protested the decision, asking that the wishes of secular residents be taken into account. “For years we have lived in a city that refuses to recognize and accommodate our needs,” said Eyal Ackerman, one of the rally’s organizers. “This is a struggle for the right to live in this city and its future.”

The organizers were disappointed that more people didn’t show up for the rally, but expressed hope and optimism. “It takes time for things to happen,” said Tamar, a resident. “Logic says that we should win.”

Another protestor who showed up at the square predicted, “The struggle will intensify when the complex will open. We will try to put pressure on the owner and tell him that if we do not come on Saturdays, we will not come in the middle of the week either.”

On the other hand, David Hadari, Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Finance Committee responsible for the decision of the Sabbath closing, said he believed that decision would remain unchanged.


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View original Ynet publication at:,7340,L-4375962,00.html