When demolition began on the Plaza Cinema in 2015, something unusual happened; Dubai residents began visiting the site to collect mementos from the building’s rubble. The cinema was almost as old as the UAE itself – a place which many people held an emotional connection to. In this episode, a story about a cinema that was much more than just a cinema.

PHOTOS BY Ammar Al Attar

SHOW Notes

• Yasser Elsheshtawy’s book is called Dubai: Behind An Urban Spectacle

•Hind Mezaina’s blog on Dubai’s cinema culture: https://www.theculturist.com/

•Cinema Akil: https://cinemaakil.com/

•Ammar Al Attar’s exhibition on Dubai’s cinema history runs until November 5, 2018 at NYU Abu Dhabi. Details here: https://nyuad.nyu.edu/en/events/2018/october/ammar-al-attar-cinemas-in-UAE.html/

Episode Credits & Notes

Produced by Alex Atack and Vinita Bharadwaj, with editorial support from Dana Ballout and Hebah Fisher. Sound design by Alex Atack. Thank you to everybody who spoke to us for this story; Lachman Bhatia, Ausaf Ali Raja, Yasser Elsheshtawy, Butheina Kazim, Hind Mezaina, Ammar Al Attar and Hassan Kamal.