Faces of Büyülü Fener

Zeynep Serdaroğlu & Gülce Hamamcı / See You at the Movies / COMD 357 Multimedia Journalism Sonbahar 2022-2023 Photo Projesi

Hello, fellow cinephiles!


In our last blog post, we talked about a particular contemporary heritage site of our lovely Ankara. Büyülü Fener Cinemas in both Kızılay and Bahçeli have been the meeting points for movie enjoyers of all ages in Ankara. The Bahçeli branch opened its doors to all cinephiles in 1996, Kızılay branch followed suit in 2005. One of the city’s last remaining independent movie theaters, the venue holds many film festivals year-round, screens new indie productions, and provides a gathering place for movie buffs. Furthermore, it is also considered to be a cultural center, too. With its 11 different screens that can hold a thousand audience at once, it is a hot spot for the cinema experience in Ankara. In today’s post, we met and interviewed some of the individuals that keep the soul of the “Magic Lantern” alive. The regulars of the Hatay Street building on a regular Sunday afternoon. The faces of Büyülü Fener.


Pelin, 26, Graduate Student

“Not every film is meant to be watched from the comfort of our homes and our screens. I am fortunate enough to have Büyülü Fener within a walking distance from my place. There is still some magic in seeing certain details of a film on the big screen.”

Favorite Film: Oldboy (2003)

dir. Park Chan-wook


Ömer, 18, Student

“There are almost no movie theaters in the heart of our city: Kızılay. It’s Ankara’s center. It’s where most of us spend the majority of our time. So Büyülü Fener is off the beaten track. My most anticipated films always wind up being shown here, so why wouldn’t I prefer here, other than anywhere else?

Favorite Film: Wall-E (2008)

dir. Andrew Stanton


Şevki, 54, Self-Employed

Büyülü Fener is the true form of the movie theater. It is not like one of those fast-food chain restaurants that pop up in a mall. It’s authentic. It screens films that showcase how beautiful cinema can be. There is no place like it on the face of the planet.”

Favorite Film: Barry Lyndon (1975)

dir. Stanley Kubrick


Alp, 21, Student

“I love the atmosphere of Büyülü Fener and how the films I anticipate watching always come here. Especially on Sundays, the tranquilness of the theater resonates with me. It is an activity that I look forward to every week. It is a soothing experience where I can take my mind off for a couple of hours.”

Favorite Film: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

dir. Stanley Kubrick

Enes, 24, Psychologist

Büyülü Fener is the home for Arthouse. Almost every film that I look forward to is screened here. Besides, I don’t come here just to watch a film. It is a whole event for me. My road to come here, the snacks I eat along the film, sitting back and thinking about what I just witnessed on the screen on the patio of the theater. It is almost like my second home.”

Favorite Film: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

dir. Chris Columbus

Maide, 23, Medical Intern

“I feel as if, Büyülü Fener is the only place where it actually cares about its audience. In this climate where everything is so expensive that is almost unreachable, Büyülü keeps it low-key. I preferred coming here when I was a student, and my reasons have not changed. The discount for medical professionals is awesome. It is only unique here. I feel as if appreciated for the work I do, by a regular movie theater in Kızılay.”

Favorite Film: The Hunger Games Trilogy (2012-2015)

dir. Gary Ross and Francis Lawrence

Ata, 20, Student
“The ambiance of Büyülü Fener is extremely cozy. Sometimes with the help of Başka Sinema, they screen films that would not be in theaters regardless, because the Turkish audience is usually not keen on independent releases. In a world full of saturated and over-exposed films and audiences, Büyülü Fener and its understated nature resonate with me. The theater can showcase that there can be excitement in the subtleness of cinema culture.”
dir. Mark Waters
Münevver, 22, Shopping Clerk
“I have been to Büyülü Fener a couple of times. Not just to watch a movie, but to spend time in the lounge areas as well. Location-wise it is in the perfect point for me and my friends and one cannot go wrong with having a good laugh with your close ones with the help of a good flick.”
Favorite Film: Ghajini (2008)
dir. A. R. Murugadoss
Selim, 20, Student
“It has been a rough couple of months for us, cinephiles when it comes to the pricing of the tickets just to watch some new moving images. My love for Büyülü Fener is immense, it was a big part of my adolescent years. It saddens me that I cannot give the love it deserves, only coming here once in a while since last December. Regardless, it is an incredible venue and I am grateful that it exists.”
dir. Frank Darabont
Nilüfer, 50, Engineer
“It was an incredibly bland period for my life, back when the movie theaters closed down because of the Pandemic. Watching a movie on the big screen gave me tremendous joy and that joy being taken away from me was rough. Fortunately, ever since the restraints have been taken down I have found myself on the hill of Hatay Street, on my way to Büyülü Fener, more than ever.”
dir. Yılmaz Erdoğan
See you at the movies!