REEL DEAL: The new Yes Planet complex in Jerusalem..
(photo credit: ERAN LAM)
The capital’s latest multiplex movie complex, Yes Planet Jerusalem, will have its grand opening today. The 16-screen, six-story theater is located just off Hebron Road on Naomi Street in the Abu Tor neighborhood. The 28,500 square meter compound is the latest venture for the Yes Planet chain, which already has movie theater complexes in Haifa, Ramat Gan and Rishon Lezion. The Jerusalem Yes Planet was built in a little over a year at a cost of approximately NIS 200 million.
Mooky Greidinger, the CEO of Cineworld, which owns the Israeli chains Yes Planet and Rav Hen, said at a press event Tuesday, “It’s a big day for us. Yes Planet Jerusalem features the newest generation of cinema technology... Now it’s not just about what movies we see, but how we see them.”
Yes Planet Jerusalem features IMAX screens, as well as VIP options and stadium seating in all its 16 auditoriums. There are also several restaurants at the complex. It also has a multi-story garage with 350 parking spaces.
At the press conference Tuesday, reporters were shown previews of several movies on the IMAX screen.
These included the upcoming Everest, the dramatization of the disastrous 1996 expedition in which several climbers lost their lives, and The Walk, the story of Philippe Petit, the man who did a tightrope walk between the towers of the World Trade Center in 1974, which gave a good idea of the intensity of watching these action-centered dramas on IMAX.
There is also a DX4 auditorium, in which audience members get an even more intense viewing experience than in regular theaters as seats shake, water spritzes and smoke billows to intensify the on-screen action.
Reporters got to watch a clip from Jurassic World in the DX4 theater, and as a Mosasaurus gobbled up a great white shark onscreen, viewers were misted – almost drenched – with water, just like the spectators in the movie.
There have been no protests from ultra-Orthodox factions about the fact that the complex will remain open on Shabbat, said Greidinger, and he did not anticipate any, since Yes Planet was built on privately owned land and was not near any ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.
Showing movies on Shabbat “is completely legal,” Greidinger emphasized.
Jerusalem’s first giant movie complex, Cinema City, which opened last year, does not show movies on Shabbat.
The Yes Planet complex is also the site of the Sherover Cultural Center, run by Uzi Wexler, chairman of the Gabriel Sherover Foundation. The Yes Planet Complex is just a short walk from the Sherover Promenade. A theater in the entertainment complex, which will be completed soon, will be devoted to cultural events such as concerts and children’s theater, much of which will be free to the public. Some of these events will be held outside, with the spectacular view of the Old City as a backdrop.
The movie complex will also host such cultural events as digital live screenings of opera, ballet and other arts events from around the world. There are also auditoriums in the complex that can be used for theater and concerts.
Two art exhibits are currently on display at the complex: Coexistence, an exhibit of paintings and sculptures by Israeli artist David Gerstein, and a collection of Bond movies, from Dr. No, the first in the series, to the upcoming Spectre, which will open at Yes Planet in early November.
Greidinger also mentioned two other eagerly anticipated action movies that will be shown this fall and winter at Yes Planet: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, the final movie in The Hunger Games franchise, and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
The much smaller multi-screen Rav Hen theater in the industrial area of Talpiot, also owned by Yes Planet’s parent company, has just closed.