sinecine ISSN: 1309-5838

Multiplex Movie Theaters and the Shift of Power Balance in the Cinema Sector in Turkey

The first multiplex movie theater was founded in1963 inthe USA. Throughout the 1970s, the number of multiplex cinemas increased considerably in American due to transformations in Hollywood and the increase in the number of shopping malls. Multiplex cinemas played an important role in changing the exhibition strategies and the power balance in the cinema sector, and they accelerated the commodification of culture. With the rise of neo-liberal policies toward the end of the 1980s, the multiplex cinemas started to spread all over the world. For some, the multiplex cinema is one of the symbols of cultural imperialism, while for others, they simply indicate the modernization of movie theaters. In Turkey, multiplex movie theaters emerged after the entrance of major players to the Turkish cinema sector as a result of the modifications in the Foreign Investment Law in1987. Inthis article, we explain the emergence process of multiplex cinemas in America and Turkey. In addition, we question how the multiplex cinemas changed the power relations in the cinema sector in Turkey together with the effects they had in the transformation of the habit of cinema going as a cultural practice.

Keywords:  Multiplex cinemas, culture industry, programming of cinemas, “dedifferenciation”,  distribution.