Perhaps considered one of Downtown Cairo’s most iconic buildings, Cinema Radio is the epitome of Downtown’s cosmopolitan past and present. The setting housed some major bookmarks in Egypt’s art scene throughout the decades. Originally built in 1932, the cinema complex was intended to host Cairo’s largest theater screen. The structure outcome is the result of a prolific collaboration of 3 architects, the French Max Edrei with the Armenian Garo Balyan and Victor Salāma. Their bureau was in the annex of the cinema’s offices. In the 1970s, in challenging financial problems, the cinema was allocated into two sections: a cinema hall and a theatre.
Cinema Radio’s halls premiered some of Egypt’s most celebrated and acclaimed films, was the stage to none other than soulful Egyptian queen herself Umm Kulthum and served as the backdrop to some landmark boutiques, such as the Egyptian actress Samira Aḥmad’s shop “Gelgela”(named after daughter Galīla’s nickname), the Egyptian Company and Bisco Misr.
Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Development acquired the building in 2009 to revive the legacy location. Some of the most notable figures to fill the space since are Bassem Youssef with his show ‘Al Barnameg’ in 2011, and everyone’s favourite silver-tongued puppet ‘Abla Fahita’.
Currently, the building hosts multiple screenings, events and also has office and retail spaces available for rent. One of the office spaces serves as the headquarters for BPE Partners.Designed By: Hassan Abouseda Architects
The company’s vision focuses on introducing 360º entertainment in the heart of Cairo comprising of: