Çorum Culture and Art Magazine
I would like to dedicate this
work in remembrance of my dear friend Mahmut TUNABOYLU who was the most
colourful and productive figure of Çorum artistic and cultural life.
Looking at at the history of cities, institutions
are the touchstones of replacing the cases.The concept of city gained
his identity with theatre in the ancient history of Anatolia. These
buildings, all of which are open air theatres and still exist as the
unique work of stone architecture and acoustic technique, serve for
culture ,arts and tourism even today. In the 20th century,, one term
will also be added apart from theatre. That is cinema. …. The rising
independence desire in Anatolia would be crowned by the establishment of
Republic created a revolution out of the ashes
of an collapsed empire. With the proclamation of the republic in the
community who experienced the joy and enthusiasm will build its
instutions to create the people of new era.
These buildings are
Public Centres in cities, Village Halls in villages, Music Teacher
School which is the core of State Conservatory, Turkish Language
Institution, Turkish Historical Society. We can name these five as the
“Republic’s Five Important Elements” . This structure is a symbol of
Republic which gives importance to humanbeings, culture and arts.
which used to be an independent territory became a province with the
law numbered 191 on 10th April 1924. Even if Çorum wasn’t supported
enough by the central government , it would be one of the center of
agro-industrialization and urbanization.
Despite the missing
parts, this study is the first written document of cinema which is one
of the universal sign of being a city. I would like to thank to the
resource persons who have contributed to this study on behalf of me and
the researchers of future: Sefa Yalçın, İhsan Yalçın, Ahmet Naci
Özturan, Sami Erhan, Gürcan Bozdoğan, Soner Özdoğan, Atakan Özdoğan and
Kaya (İsmail) Üstündağ.
The information that we collected from the
people who showed a great effort for the cinemas of Çorum was recorded
on written documents for the risk of losing them and a new journey began
for them. May their journey be well …….
a result of the industrial revolution at the end of the 19th century,
the modern city take its place in cinema history stage. How theatre is
one of the principal criteria starting from ancient times, cinema will
be a measure of urbanization and modernity in 20th century. Cinema will
not be limited to the capital of modernity such as Paris, Berlin,
London, Vienna, it will also quicken the modernization of cities such as
Alexandria, Cairo, Bombai and İstanbul.
Those who lead
communities notice very quickly how cinema is an important tool to
influence and direct people . Thinkers and artists who try to recognize,
understand and critisize modern age cannot ignore cinema for the same
Walter Benjamin , saying "Then
came the film and
burst this prison-world asunder by the dynamite of the tenth of a
that now, in the midst of its far-flung ruins and debris, we calmly and
adventurously go traveling emhphasizes how cinema and 20th century
Alfred Dublin would also notice very quickly that cinema
which is a need as much as a bread for Berliners. While Mayakovsky
accompany Bolshevik cinema with his poems and movies ; Apollaniere will
publish a special magazine for the intoxicating Paris night lights and
Cinema and city ,being both mechanism and hero of
modernity, influence Proust, Beckett, Musil and Kafka’s literature ;
Shönberg’s and Mahler’s compositions, Picasso, Dali and Grozs’ paintings
It would also define the modern life problems with its own language.
While the saying “City life makes people free” makes a reference to
individuation and individuals to remove the pressure on the small
circles, modern city life brings loneliness and unhappiness to city
We can list the directors handling these issues as
Vertov, Eisenstein, R. Clair, F. Lang, O. Wells, Antonioni, Bergman,
Bunuel, Yusuf Şahin, Yılmaz Güney, Lütfü Akad, Metin Errksan, Nuri Bilge
Ceylan, Zeki Demirkubuz
That cinema cannot locate itself in
social research and criticism in Türkiye does not decrease the value of
cinema and modernism. On the contrary, it leaves a discarded area which
will enrich urbanization history in our country.
Being one of the
most important invention of 20th century, cinema also has the role as a
social and cultural tool to enhance the busy city life.
was first loved by commons but later it gained its place among the
middle class and rich. Cinema also witnessed the modernization of the
cities ( İstanbul, Cairo, Tehran, Beirut, Alexandria) while radiating
among the commons in time.
Unlike as it is in the West ,
cinematographic in Türkiye was a privilege for city people until the end
of 1950. While cinema, theatre and ballet are entertainment for poor,
they were European entertainments for rich. Richness, elegance and
politeness almost became synonymous with it.
We can see that
cinema came to a point where it can represent the Turkish community
50-60 after its invention. In the end of 1920 , the number of movie
theatres in İstanbul was 35, and the audience number would reach to 3
Cinema audience in Türkiye are mostly the ones from city
who adopt the Kemalist Modernization. Atatürk, as a leader of Turks,
also went to the cinema in Ankara and İstanbul to show that women and
men can watch a movie together.
However, we can’t say that
Kemalist Modernization showed great interest in cinema as much it did to
the other western issues. Even the people used to be encouraged to go
to the cinema during the Public Houses period (1932-1950) , it shouldn’t
be ignored that projector or the movies couldn’t be found easily.
Muhsin Ertuğrul left his mark in Republic era, cinema is also under his
control. Muhsin Ertuğrul’s cinematographic works are only imitations
of western movies in the side of Republic.
Apart from European and
American cinema, Egyptian cinema would also be imitated. After a while,
it would be suggested that the Egyptian movies should be banned.
common sense in Turkish movies were using the European characters as
legends. Until 1960s, Turkish cinema lovers both from rural areas and
cities were satisfied with the imitation films of Hollywood. These
years are times when big halls such as İstanbul, İzmir and big cities
radiate to the other cities and towns.
As a result of the spread
of cinema all around Anotolia, Cinema of Yeşilçam , as it would be named
in the course of time, would make a big profit. Because the profits are
transferred to the other sectors, the cinema sector couldn’t turn into
instutions. As a result of this, widespread use of television will
decrease the number of Yeşilcam Movie audience. Even though the crisis
was tried to be recovered with sex films glut, the number of audience
kept on decreasing day by day.
In the crisis period, the number of
the films shot downed to decimal numbers. Cinema was in a vegetative
state after the establishment of private tv channels. The cinema
theatres were changed into business centres, depots and shopping
arcades. This situation kept same until the end of 1990. Multiplexes
were opened in malls in city centres. Multiplexes which are described as
the airplane carrier of American Cinema by K. Feigelson would surround
the cities and suburbs very fast.
The cinema policy of America
both made big profits and supply a political cultural education to the
world people who were in the processs of globalization.
came to the years of 2000 , the American cinema tended to radiate in
Anatolian cities. A new era started for modern dream house cinema in
In this era, American cinema put an end to
European. Only the European cinema? No. Apart from few people who can
watch cinema festival in İstanbul, it impossible to watch the good
samples of world cinema in Türkiye. It is impossible to watch a
Mauritanian, Portugal, Finnish, Indian, Egyptian and Syrian films in
THE FIRST CINEMA OF ÇORUM – ŞARK CINEMA
used to be a cinema theatre in the building whose downstairs are still
shops and which served as Hotel Konak. This building belonged to Special
Provincial Administration. This structure is the first cinema of Çorum.
The cinema named Şark Cinema was constructed with a concrete skeleton
and its balcony is made of wood. Those who knew those times say that
this building had 400 seats. Sami Erhan, who has been a cinema owner for
40 years , says that this cinema is a small model of Opera Cinema in
This building was bought by Ramis Ebil and Ali
Sıkı and it served as an important accomodation under the name of Konak
1935-1950 are the years when public houses left a mark in
Republic history. Present day Municipal Building used to be Public House
in those years. We learn from Çorumlu magazine that the first films
were showed in this building. ( the magazine of 15th July 1938 – 4th
volume ) In this magazine, it was emphasized that “ Cinema had a great
impact on community manners.” In this month, 4 films were on show. “
They were “The Testament of a Doctor” , “The Gardens of The God” ,
“Atlantic” , “Monte Cristo” , . We learn the film showed in July 1938
from the fifth volume of 15th August 1938. They are “Bozamboğ”, “With
Joy”, “ Je Anita” , “ Baghdad Road” , “ Knockout” . The films on show
in August 1938 were : “ Black Beauty”, “Shubert’s Love” , “ The Baghdad
In 1940s, İhsan and Selim
Yalçın brothers are the owners of Güven Store in Eğridere Shopping
Centre. They sell radio, watch and haberdashery.
They founded a
cinema with the suggestion of Yusuf Akçura who did the same job in
İstanbul. They bought 16mm cinematograph from Yusuf Akçura and they also
made him their partner. They attained the films from Yusuf Akçura as
Special Provincial Administration held an auction to rent
the Şark Cinema for 500 lira a year. İhsan Yalçın is the only person to
participate in auction. Cinema was rented for 505 lira. Yalçın family
members became the most famous people of Çorum cinema history.
Yalçın Family bought the present day Uzun Inn where there is Metropol
Store in Eski Ankara Street for 13500 liras. (1942) 5500 of the total
amount was paid in cash and the rest would be paid in two years. Just as
the collobaration of the building began, the partners of the building
changed their idea to sell the building. They also requested their 8000
lira in cash. Yalçın family sold the ruins of the building and paid the
money back. By the way, Yalçın Family changed a nearby cafe into cinema
and started to work there.
In 1949 the construction of Yalçın
Cinema began. The cinema whose project was drawn by Fahri Meroğlu
started to serve in 1951. The first film on show was “Gone With The
Wind” . From then on, 35 cinematograph started to be used. The Cinema
Theatre was 550-600 seated. When the wooden balcony was converted into
concrete , the capacity reached to the 700-750 seats.
construction of the building was going on, a stone sculpture of a lion
was found and is exhibited in Çorum Museum.
continued to serve upto 1992 and it will be the last to be closed down
after the crisis. In addition to this, in the garden near Yalçın Cinema
Theatre, a summer cinema served under the same name.
Yalçın Family ( İhsan and Salim
Yalçın Brothers) bought the present day Konak ZD Restaurant used as a
restaurant in Azap Ahmet Street in 1957. The garden of the mansion was
exploited between 1958-1959.
In 1963, Saray Cinema started to be
built after buying some small houses nearby. The project of the cinema
was designed by architect Turan Ilgaz. ( Prof. Dr. Turan Ilgaz is also
the architect of present day State Theatre and known as “ Culture Hall”
Saray Cinema Theatre started to serve with the film “
Bouncer’s Squad” . With 700 seats inside and 500 on the balcony, it has
1200 seats. It also serves for concerts besides movie shows.
crisis of 1980 in film industry would inevitably affected Çorum. In
mid- 1980s, the hall part of cinema was changed into wedding hall. After
renovating the balcony, it continued to serve as a cinema. We learn
from the recordings of Chamber of Trade and Industry that the Saray
Cinema Theatre was closed down on 13th January, 1987.
Turan Cinema is the place which was run by Ahmet
Naci Özturan in Çepni Quarter Pertev Bey Street No: 6.
work which was run by Yalçın Family became more colourful after Ahmet
Naci Özturan got involved in the industry. They started to compete.
Naci Özturan started to run Güneş summer cinema , which is present day
Bahçeli Gıda Market which is in Baha Bey Street.
Turan Cinema is
the electricity central building which was used to be known as
motorhouse by people. Its owner was Mehmet Kaynak. Fahri Meroğlu and
Nafiz Alaybeyoğlu designed its project to change it into a cinema. The
cinema started to serve on 23rd April, 1954. The first film was “ Ezo
While Ahmet Naci Özturan brought competition in cinema
sector, the city met the term of advertising. Kaya (İsmail) Üstündağ who
used to walk through streets with posters and shout says : “ Naci
brought advertising to Çorum.” Kaya Üstündağ says that the posters
which pinned on the doors of the cinema and called as “Fener” were also
drawn by A. Naci Özturan
Turan Cinema was closed down in 1975.
After one year of closure , the building owners ran it under the name
of Rüya Cinema. After a while, it was changed into a bakery by its new
owners. In the following years, the place of demolished building is
occupied by a dormitory which belongs to National Youth Foundation.
Naci Özturan registered Chamber of Trade and Industry on 15th March ,
1957. His registry continued till 25th June, 1988.
Özturan says while he was running cinemas in Çorum, he was also running
cinemas in Osmancık, Alaca, Dodurga , İskilip and Hamamözü.
The source person is Gürcan Bozdoğan
building which used to serve as Yimpaş Shopping Center until the 2002
Autumn in Ankara Street, is the place which was built by Bozdoğanlar
Unlimited Company and served as Cinema Özgür. The Structure and Use
Permits belong Atilla Bozdoğan. The construction began in 1971 and it
was designed by Civil Engineer Salih İrem.
Cinema Özgür started
to serve with a concert on 24th May 1973. The building is a small model
of Arı Cinema in Ankara in terms of interior design. The cinema has 800
seats inside and 500 on the balcony.
Cinema Özgür was opened with a
concert by Ekrem Bora, Kamuran Akkor and Vasfi Uçaroğlu Orchestra.
1980s, The crisis of cinema and the widespread use of television caused
Sinema Özgür to close down in 1982.
Baha Bey Street, there used to be City Club in the place of present day
Bahçeli Gıda. It was one storey building and its terrace served as
Summer Cinema.This cinema is run by Ahmet Naci Özturan.
Cinema Zafer is among the summer cinemas of Çorum. It is
still near the Jewellery Shops and it is an open-air cinema which has
the entrance next to Ahlatçı Exchange Office.
THE CINEMAS IN
1968 CITY ALMANAC
In Çorum, there are 12 cinemas , 3 of which
are in city centre and 9 of which are in other towns. One of these
cinemas is summer (open-air) cinema.
Merkez İlçe YALÇIN CINEMA
ALACA HİTİT CINEMA
BAYAT UYSAL CINEMA
İSKİLİP YENİ CINEMA (Ünalan)
KARGI YENİ CINEMA
Mecitözü YENİ CINEMA (Tepebaşı)
OSMANCIK YILDIZ CINEMA (Both summer and winter)
SUNGURLU UĞUR CINEMA
ORTAKÖY There is no a permanent cinema. It is open one day a week.
with Ahmet Naci Özturan
We talked to A.Naci Özturan, the
most colourful figure of Çorum’s cinema history. He said: “The cinema
referred as Hittite Cinema in 1968 City Almanac was originally the
Grand Hittite Cinema. I ran Atçı Baki’s cafe as a summer cinema and I
constructed its walls to change it into winter cinema. Its name was Yeni
Cinema. There was another cinema run by Yahya Bulut in Alaca in 1975.
Its name was Bulut Cinema. Uğur Cinema in Sungurlu was run by Mayor
Haydar Emrali’s son Uğur Emrali. Yeni Cinema in Mecitözü was run by Ali
Zeki Emiroğlu from Amasya. Yeni Cinema in İskilip was run by Fahrettin
Ünalan. I also ran a cinema in İskilip named Turan Cinema. Hisar cinema
which was for both summer and winter was run by Mahmut Çörekçi in 1970. I
ran a Zafer Cinema in Dodurga in 1975. ”
Demir has been serving in Çepni Quarter Hıdırlık Street No: 15 since
1998. Its owner is Ruşen Demir who has another cinema in Merzifon under
the same name.
The first part of Özdoğanlar Cinema
in Baha Bey Street was started to be constructed in January 2000. When
its construction finished on 15th June 2000, it started to serve with
the film “Bye Bye” on 30th June 2000. The capacity of the hall is 237
and the 72-seat-first and second hall is still under construction.
Mobile Cinemas were planned to be opened on September 2003. All parts of
Özdoğan Cinema are air-conditioned.
The technical Qualities of
Hall 1 Dolby 5+1
Hall 2-3 Dolby 5+1
Hall 1 13.500 Watt
Hall 2-3 6.000 Watt
The Number of Speakers
Hall 1 21
Hall -3 15
Hall 1 3.5x8 meter
Hall 2-3 2x4.6 meter
There is also Türkel 98 Projection Device in all the halls.
IN ÇIKRIK VILLAGE
Çıkrık Village is like a teacher production
center of Çorum. Educationist – writer Muzaffer Gündoğar is from
Çıkrık. We talked to the retired teacher and cinema lover Mehmet Akbulut
who still works as a projectionist.
G. ERYÜKSEL : Can you tell us
about yourself? How did you get involved in cinema?
Akbulut : I was born in Çıkrık Village which was the part of Mecitözü
in 1949. (It is now part of City Centre). I finished 4th and 5th class
of primary school in Çorum Tanyeri Primary School. In 1960, I met cinema
in those years. In those days, there were Yalçın and Turan Cinemas in
Çorum. I can say that I didn’t miss any films.
school, I graduated from the Teacher Training High School. (1969-1970)
In the school diary, my friends wrote these words : “ He will
saveTurkish cinema and his statue will be built in Yeşilçam.He is the
master of Turan Cinema…”
I started teaching in Domu (Budakören)
village of Çorum. I missed some films while I was in village. However, I
always went to Çorum to watch movies. I spent my summer and term
holiday watching movies in Çorum.
G.ERYÜKSEL: How did you become a
cinema entrepreneur ?
Mehmet AKBULUT : My biggest dream was to
run a cinema. But, I didn’t have enough capital for this. I haven’t had
so far. …My love against cinema has never decreased. While I was working
as a teacher in my village Çıkrık, I decided to open a cinema. There
wasn’t a cinema even in Mecitözü town. İsmail Eryaşar who was working in
PTT of Turhal helped me buy a cinematograph. It was 16mm device. I
rented the village cafe. It was time to find a film. I used to rent
films 3-4 times from Dar Film Company in Samsun. I played each of these
films for two days. The rent of colour film was 350 lira and the rent of
black-white film is 250 lira. The ticket price was 20 lira first , then
I made it 25. I found a film in the department of Educational
Materials of Public Training Center. It was Yılmaz Karakoyun’s “
Kızılırmak Karakoyun”….Because I got it free, I showed two films at one
time. My cinema adventure continued for one year in Çıkrık Village.
ERYÜKSEL : What have you been doing?
Mehmet AKBULUT : My love of cinema has never decreased. I am a retired
teacher now and I still live with cinema. When they opened the
Özdoğanlar Cinema, I started working as a projectionist. I still dream
of establishing my own cinema theatre.
CINEMA DIED BEFORE ITS
The building, known as the municipal council building
today (2004) , was built in the beginning of 1970s (during the
presidency of Hamit Duran) was constructed after being tendered.
a last word….
Çorum started 21st century with a new cinema..
Özdoğanlar Cinema…The lack of cinema period in the second half of the
1980s and 1990s ended. Cinema Demir – A started to serve even if he
couldn’t embrace all the people. There weren’t still cinemas in towns.
It was announced on the newspapers that two cinemas were going to be
built in Bahar Shopping Centre which was situated in Eşref Hoca Street.
Sefa Yalçın , the chairman of the company , told us in our interview
that the cinema would be two parts with 159 seats and the name of the
cinema will most probably be the “Cinema MB”. I also learned that the
sound system would be Dolby Digital System.
Yalçın Family still
goes on its mission in 21st century. despite the increase in the
population, education and agriculture-based industrialization in economy
compared to 1930-1940-1950-1970 , cinema didn’t perform well, which
was really interesting.Terrorism experienced in the second half of 1970
and widespread use of television are some of the factors.The modern city
people model which was created with Republic and the revolutions
started to change. Cities faced with migration from nearby cities.
Çorum experienced the same. This changed the sociocultural life of
cities. Cinema and theatre are still the symbol of city life style.
Çorum 1968 City Almanac
Kentte Sinema Sinemada Kent- Varlık Magazine October 2003, İstanbul.
AKBULUT Günay – Modernization of İstanbul and Cinema– Varlık Magazine
October 2003. İstan-bul.
ERKOÇ Ethem Çorum and its towns in 21st Century. 2001 Çorum
ÖZTÜRK Mehmet, Urban Crisis and Cinema in İstanbul. Varlık Magazine
October 2003. İstanbul.