Friday, January 19, 2018

Cinema Opera vs Opera House in Beirut: Can anyone point me the difference? UPDATE

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
It is now a consensus that we call the now-closed Virgin Megastore, as "Opera House" but it was recently pointed out to me that it was "Cinema Opera" and not the opera house, hence the confusion. I frankly have no answer to the distinction between the two and if anyone does, please clear it out to me. Is the image above that of a cinema or an opera house? Or is the same entity?
There are two sources:
One that says they are two different entities, and that the Egypt born architect Bahjat Abdelnour called it so because it resembled the Egyptian Opera house.
The second says:
That whereas this was indeed an opera house during the French mandate, it became a cinema at a later stage.
To add more to the confusion, it seems the owner of the building wants to open an opera house there...