Where is Cinema City in Jerusalem?

When Jerusalem, Israel is involved

there seem to be few things on which everyone agrees.

But one thing that is obvious to all,

is the number of major construction projects,

image building in Jerusalem

with their huge cranes towering in the skyline.

The elections for Mayor of Jerusalem, are set for the fall.

Nir Barkat  Jerusalem Mayor camgpaign

For weeks, current Mayor Nir Barkat has had campaign workers out on the streets.

Streets, where recent roadwork has kept residents awake for nights on end.

Even on a very busy week, some invitations are hard to refuse.

So when I was offered a chance to see some of the new Jerusalem venues

 on a tour led by the mayor himself, well, that went to the top of my must-do list.

Finally a chance to find out the answer to what everyone is asking,

where is Cinema City?

The first stop was the new Cinema City complex.

photo Jerusalem Mayor

 Deep under ground Nir Barkat

photo Mayor Jerusalem

spoke to journalists in front of the space for one of the movie screens.

image new Cinema City jerusalem

These seats were so comfortable that it was hard to get up and get going, 

and hard to believe that there is another theater with even better chairs.

The large multiplex theaters are all built underground, 

 and the largest auditorium is to seat 6,000.

photo Cinema City

 Photographers were allowed to take many photos of the mayor,

but not of all the construction areas.

image Cinema City

It’s hard to believe that this will open at the end of this week as planned,

or even Sukkot time as now anticipated.

image Cinema City

I wonder how long it will take until the high speed train comes in to this station.

Cinema City under construction

The bridge to parking garage has been ready for years,

but mostly used to hang protest signs.

Bbi stand strong sign.

These banners, from March 2010, say “Netanyahu stand strong.”

Then, we were off to Teddy Stadium,

photo inside Teddy Stadium

where the massive set of the Maccabiah Opening was being taken down.

The newly enlarged stadium was being redone for Maccabiah 2013 Closing ceremony. 

Inside Teddy Stadium Jerusalem

The VIP section looked so very different in daylight.

Stop three on the tour was near by,

Sports Arena in Jerusalem image

the new sports arena, still under construction,.

(Pais has nothing to do with peace,

but is transliterated Hebrew word for lottery.)

How often in Jerusalem do you see hard hats at any construction site,

Hard hats in construction stie, sports arena Jerusalem

certainly not with popsicles and a talk by the mayor?

Jerusalem sports arena

This arena was so large, 

New sorts arena Jerusalem

that it was impossible to get it in all one shot.

There were three buses on this tour, 

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat photo,

and Mayor Barkat was our personal tour guide to the last stop at First Station.

As the sun was beginning to set

image Mayor Barkat at First Station

on the roof top of the Old Train Station, the tour concluded.

Mayor Barkat has initiated massive building and sports projects,

and major events to draw young people and tourists to Jerusalem,

 he wants to be re-elected to see his vision for Jerusalem continue.

How ironic that on the very same day of the tour,

 a challenger to the mayor launched his campaign.  

image Moshe Lion running for Jerusalem mayor

There was Moshe Lion up on the side of this building, bigger-than-life.

It’s not clear what will happen next in this mayoral campaign,

but one other thing that is for sure:

 a lot of money will be spent.

(Full disclosure, I have a friend who is a friend of the Mayor’s mother-in-law.,

but it was another friend who got my name on the list, thanks Lisa)

UPDATE: since many could still not figure out where Cinema City was:

 four more photos from different angles.

Photos of Maccabiah Opening in Jerusalem

The Maccabiah 2013 Opening was one huge event,

with 9000 athletes from over 70 countries participating.

30,000 people came to watch the opening ceremony at Teddy Stadium.

image waiting for bus

Anyone who says Israelis are not patient and do not stay in line

would have been shocked by this queue for shuttle buses from the parking area to Teddy.

No way I was going to wait there, so I went around the corner to get a public bus.

Oops, not off to a good start, as it seems that these folks were waiting in the wrong place

and I found a seat on an empty bus.

photo buses lined up at Teddy Stadium

Buses, buses and more buses arrived,

too bad there were none when I left and I had to walk home.

Only in Israel:

photo #Maccabi

 this boy was selling cut-up watermelon for 15 shekels,

image selling seeds at Stadium

and of course, there were bags of sunflower seeds for sale too.

photo audience at Maccabiah

Everyone found a light stick under their seat.

 a rehearsal showed everyone how to use them during the performance.

photo Israeli flags

There was certainly no shortage of Israeli flags.

photo Maccabi opening

The parade of nations followed the order of the Hebrew alphabet,

so the two athletes from Uzbekistan were the first to enter.

Many people were cheering both for their country of birth and for Israel.

image face painted half US & half Israel flag

One fan had his dual loyalty clearly painted on his face.

photo opening Maccabia

Australia was the second country to enter the hall, with 442 participants.

When we lived in Australia, we had many friends who were active in Maccabiah,

opening Maccabiah photo

 I tried hard to find someone I recognized in the enthusiastic group.

Here are 20 more photos if you want to look for an Aussie friend.

Maccabiah opening

Azerbaijan had 12 athletes, 

opening Maccabia

and Virgin Islands, just one, who got special attention,

image Maccabiah

Albania also had one.

opening Maccabiah

Aruba, Armenia, followed by the USA.

USA Macabiah

1197 athletes came from the US, and this girl had good view for a great photo.


I was starting to get really tired at this point, but Brazil had plenty of color and energy.


Germany with 202 participants, stopped right in front, performed and posed.

Opening Maccabiah

Mongolia, Macedonia, Mexico,


Slovenia, Slovakia, and Spain,

who knew there were so many countries?


 58 athletes from Turkey,


and one from Scotland wearing a kilt.


 111 athletes from Cuba came dressed in red, white and blue.


214 Mexican hats were ready to dance.


11 from Kazakhstan: what do you think of their hats?


By the time the 667 Canadians entered,

the aisle was filled with people trying to get a closer look,

 I was sitting down and almost missed Amar’e Stoudemire.


Israel entered last with 3000 athletes; they kept coming and coming, 

so it was time to switch to video.

large Israel flag

The large Israeli flag was carried in and raised.


Finally the show began,


and we got to use the light sticks.

The massive stage has been taken down,

 I can’t wait to see how they can top this for the closing ceremony.