Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lev Smadar

You know how being in a foreign country can sort of leave you behind on the current movies back home? Well, luckily, here in Jerusalem I've discovered a great little movie theater/cafe called Lev Smadar that plays the latest and greatest from back home - and yes, they're in English (with Hebrew subtitles).  I recognize a few words here and there, but for the most part, I'm happy to hear the fluent unbroken English for a solid two hours.  Lev Smadar is a one cinema theater and it changes its feature film weekly. Not only this, but also, this wonderful theater in the Germany Colony of Jerusalem comes with a coffee shop - and, that's not it, there's still one more thing - it's open on Saturdays! I have to remind you what a big deal this is, as it's the only other thing open on weekends besides: a) the Arab quarter of the old city, b) hospitals, c) hotels and d) the gym. As you can imagine, half of Jerusalem piles into the theater on the weekends. The pictures really don't do the theater justice. It really is a warm and fuzzy kind of place:

So, over the last month, I've ventured there twice. Both were films I would recommend highly! The first one was Somewhere, directed by Sofia Copella, and was as much about fame and Hollywood as it was about a special father-daughter relationship between Stephen Dorff (who does such an excellent job in this film) and newcomer Elle Fanning. Yes, Dakota's little sister. If you liked Lost in Translation, you will definitely love this film. It was emotional and kept me thinking for days and was a very symbolic movie, great for discussions. And the more recent film I saw was called Barney's Version, directed by Richard Lewis, and starring Paul Giamatti. This was a film I had heard nothing about prior to seeing it, but was one that stayed with me for a long while after viewing it with a friend. Definitely going to be an Oscar contender I think; Paul's performance was phenomenal and you cannot help but feel for the character he plays so amazingly in the film.

This artsy theater is tucked away on a lovely side street in a great part of of the city. The area is called the "German Colony" or is also referred to as "Emek Refaim", which is the main street in this area of town. All along Emek Refaim you will find cute cafes, eateries, boutiques, hair salons, flower shops and more, making it a highly desirable place both to live and to hang out. It's a really great area for socializing and not too far from the city center. Additionally, every Friday morning, this area is home to a farmer's market and street fair.



As I mentioned, Lev Smadar also has a coffee shop attached to it (reminding me a lot of the Angelika Dallas and the Magnolia Dallas - theaters that I just LOVED in Dallas) so you can chat about the movie either before or after the film while dining or grabbing a coffee. A great place for a date or a girls night out, movie style. Not only do they have popcorn for the movie, but also, they have beer on tap. Yep, you heard that right. Now, where else can you get beer on tap with your popcorn and watch a movie at the same time?

So, for those of you who are here in Jerusalem, go visit Lev Smadar! There are several "Lev" theaters throughout all of Israel, as you will see on their website. And for those of you who come visit me, if you're here over a weekend, we might just make it a day at this cute movie joint.


  1. That is awesome that you found a place like that...looks cute and fun! I saw Somewhere too...it was interesting to hear your thoughts on the movie!

  2. I love the post! You're right that Lev-Smadar is adorable, and it also reminds me of the Angelika in NYC. Although the Angelika doesn't give the viewers a "hafsaka" (intermission) during the movie. One more thing that can only be found in Israel.

  3. How could I forget to write about the Hafsaka?! Has it become so normal that I've forgotten to point it out?

  4. Rayzee I love this!! I bet you are surprised that I am commenting on anything that has to do with a movie because I never go, but this is the most fancy theatre I have ever seen and not to mention the fact that Chad would die to have beer on tap while watching a movie :)

  5. Yes I know, isn't it so cool?! I don't know why they haven't invented up the concept of beer at the movies in the US. Seems like it should be in existence somewhere at home!!


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