Lev Smadar has been a Jerusalem institution that has received a mythological status in the memory of many Jerusalemites, especially those who lived in the city in the 1950s and 1960s. It is the only cinema in Jerusalem that has functioned almost continuously for 80 years. The building was built in 1928. Initially it served the British army and a few years later it was commercially opened until 1950, purchased by Aryeh Chechik. His family remained the owner of the cinema to this day.
Smadar has always been known as a local and neighborhood place, and stories about Chzik’s management style, who was a cashier, sorter and radiator at the same time, are also told today, as is the practice of rolling drinking bottles from the last row in the hall down the slope and pasting cigarette filters … Many recall nostalgically the innovative marketing initiative begun by Chechik in the late 1950s: two daily plays on one card – a western and a knight or war movie.
On Fridays, the cinema was full, and today it is the only movie theater in the capital on weekends. Since the mid-1990s, cinema has been operating through the Lev network, and is known for its quality films. There is also a coffee shop and if you like it, you can watch the movie while sipping a cup of coffee or beer. The cinema is open from midday in the middle of the week and on weekends throughout the day, starting in the morning.