Jerusalem News

Jerusalem’s Planet Yes Cinema opened it’s gates on Shabbat

Photo: Miriam Woelke
Painting on a wall in Agrippas Street / Jerusalem


Last Friday, me and a friend were planning on going to Mea Shearim but, in the end, we became a kind of lazy and rather stayed at home. It turned out that we were actually quite lucky, as various streets in Ge’ulah and Romema (haredi neighbourhoods in Jerusalem) were closed off by the police. Some Haredim were demonstrating against the opening of a new cinema complex called PLANET YES.
Planet Yes is an Israeli cinema chain and now opened it’s gates in Jerusalem. Although I live right across Planet Yes, I haven’t made any photos yet. Simply because the cinema doesn’t interest me at all. Why going to a cinema and spending a lot of money when there is Youtube ? Whereas everyone wants to become a Youtuber today and people stop watch television and run over to Youtube, in Israel, this message still hasn’t arrived. The reason is that Israelis don’t necessarily become Youtubers, as there is no market. 🙂 Even one of Israel’s more successful Youtuber, Roy Revivo, announced that he sees himself making more videos in English. And his English is pretty good !
I don’t have a TV set and I definitely don’t miss one. Israeli TV is junk and I subscribed the daily news via Youtube.
The scandal was that Planet Yes actually opened it’s gates on a Shabbat. This is the first time I have ever heard that a business opened on Shabbat. I don’t even know this from Tel Aviv. Don’t get me wrong: Many Israeli businesses are open on Shabbat but Planet Yes actually opened for the very first time.
Building Planet Yes took far more than three years and our neighbourhood had to suffer through constant noise and dust. The past two or three months, construction workers even worked on Shabbat and at 8 am in the morning, we heard the noise. Many people living in the surrounding houses of the cinema complex formed a group and went to court. However, they lost and the municipality continued building.
Our greatest fear is that all kinds of idiots such as drunks and freaks start walking around in our “quiet” neighbourhood. We already have enough problems with the Arabs living further down the road and we don’t need more freaks screaming around. A lot of Israelis already wrote on the Planet’s Facebook page that they may not bother to show up, as Planet Yes will be flooded with Arabs. This, however, is also my fear and I wouldn’t want to sit in a cinema hall where 50 % or more are Arabs.
So, how was the opening on Shabbat ? Pretty quiet and the crowds didn’t line up in front of the doors. Until the Planet closed at night, not too many people actually showed up.
Well, it all depends on the prices. If restaurants and cafes are too expensive, people rather continue going to the nearby cultural center “The Old Train Station”. Cinema prices in Israel are always a rip – off and why bother when there is Youtube or some other free movie sites ?
If the Planet doesn’t start with live music outside bother the entire neighbourhood at night, I couldn’t care less about the cinema complex.

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