Walk-in Cinema, SALT Beyoglu

On a busy pedestrian thoroughfare in Istanbul, a 19th-century apartment building has been converted into a multiuse event space and cinema for the newly opened SALT.

The mission of the newly opened Istanbul cultural institution SALT ("pure" or "simple" in Turkish) is to "explore critical issues in visual and material culture, and cultivate innovative programs for research and experimental thinking." Uniquely, its activities are spread among two sites, SALT Beyoglu and SALT Galata .

The Walk-in Cinema inside the SALT Beyoglu building sits on a byway connected to Istiklal Street, one of the most important pedestrian streets of Istanbul. As the name also suggests, this is an open space which connects to the Istiklal street via the ground area of the building. The partition-less space signifies the openness to any idea that will be shared within. In this context, the institution's major aim is to become a flexible space open to any kind of intervention is further realized in the cinema space.

SALT Beyoglu's Walk-in Cinema provides an environment that fuses SALT's programs with the potential of spontaneous public use, its content shaped under common initiatives of the institution and its participants. In addition to presentations, screenings, events and workshops relating to SALT's exhibitions and research, the cinema is open to impromptu dance, theatre and performance rehearsals.

Converted by the firm of Suyabatmaz & Demirel under the direction of partner Hakan Demirel, the Walk-in Cinema uses the same surfacing material in the cinema space as the forum area, which resembles the stone surface of the Istiklal street. This enables the visitors to suddenly find themselves inside the Walk-in cinema while wandering inside the building's ground floor. The slightly raised ramp at the end of the forum area lets the visitors to drop by into a more concentrated space. This impromptu space dictates nothing to its users. Visitors may watch either by sitting or standing and they are free to come by or leave whenever they want, even in the middle of the event taking place on the stage or on the screen.
This impromptu space dictates nothing to its users. Visitors may watch either by sitting or standing and they are free to come by or leave whenever they want, even in the middle of the event taking place on the stage or on the screen.
This impromptu space dictates nothing to its users. Visitors may watch either by sitting or standing and they are free to come by or leave whenever they want, even in the middle of the event taking place on the stage or on the screen.
The seating units may move horizontally on rails and thus the whole space suddenly resembles a spontaneous streetscape, with irregular seating arrangements rather than a rigid auditorium. With each transformation, space is defined once again and conform to the movements of the users. People entering or leaving the area become part of the performance just like an event occurring in a street. Sometimes the seating units become surfaces which may be leaned against while the ground becomes a seating area. The endless combination of arrangements enable the users to create their own seating and watching positions and their engagement with the event.
The Walk-in Cinema inside the SALT Beyoglu building sits on a byway connected to Istiklal Street, one of the most important pedestrian streets of Istanbul.
The Walk-in Cinema inside the SALT Beyoglu building sits on a byway connected to Istiklal Street, one of the most important pedestrian streets of Istanbul.
June events (in English) at the Walk-in Cinema include Vasif Kortun in conversation with MoMA Associate Director Kathy Halbreich, June 7 at 18.30, as part of the Who's In Town? series, a series of impromptu events in the Walk-in Cinema spurred by the occasion of someone with something to share who happens to be available or currently in town. On June 8 at 18.30, University of Ljubljana Professor Mladen Dolar presents his talk, The Burrow of Sound, examining the boundaries between inside and outside, the psyche and the external, reality and fantasy, and sanity and insanity. All SALT Walk-in Cinema events are free.
An extension of its entryway, SALT’s Walk-in Cinema forms an intimate platform for spontaneous activities, performances and talks, in addition to its programmed screenings.
With each transformation, space is defined once again and conform to the movements of the users. People entering or leaving the area become part of the performance just like an event occurring in a street.
With each transformation, space is defined once again and conform to the movements of the users. People entering or leaving the area become part of the performance just like an event occurring in a street.
The seating units may move horizontally on rails and thus the whole space suddenly resembles a spontaneous streetscape, with irregular seating arrangements rather than a rigid auditorium.
The seating units may move horizontally on rails and thus the whole space suddenly resembles a spontaneous streetscape, with irregular seating arrangements rather than a rigid auditorium.

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