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UNKNOWN TEL AVIV - OPERA TOWER

The Opera Tower is doubtlessly one of the most interesting on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Sea-side Promenade. This modern building was built on the same place that the old Opera House stood once, and its exterior arches shapes are identical to the one of the historical Opera House.


OPERA TOWER

The history of this site is absolutely fascinating. In 1945 a huge movie theater "Kesem" ("The Miracle") was opened here. "Kesem", with its 1,144 seats, was considered to be the most prestigious and respected in Tel Aviv at the time. But "Kesem" Cinema has only been used for three years to screen the movies. In December 1948, the magnificent cinema was introduced into the state history of the State of Israel. The new-born Israeli state simply confiscated the cinema from its private owners.


OLD AND NEW ARCHES OF THE OPERA HOUSE

And this is how the Cinema became a seat of the Provisional State Council, and after the general election in February 1949, the Seat of the newly elected Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, for the next nine months.

In December 1949 Ben-Gurion declared the transfer of the Knesset and the government to Jerusalem, and the building was abandoned for some time, until in 1950, it was purchased by the Tel Aviv Municipality and became a seat of the Tel Aviv City Council.


1948-49 - FROM CINEMA "KESEM" THROUGH THE EGYPTIAN AIR STRIKE

TO THE KNESSET OF ISRAEL

In January 1958, the building was purchased by "Opera Friends Circle", and in May of that year, the Israel Opera moved to the building which was from now called "the Israeli Opera House " and became the Opera' permanent residence, after her 13 years wandering between various places throughout Tel Aviv. And from now on the name of the square before the building was changed to the Opera Tower Square. And, the last but not the least, one young Spanish tenor spent three years here in the early 1960's. He learned the basic tenor repertoire before embarking on an international career. His name is Placido Domingo!


The Israeli Opera moved finally away, and he historical building was lost its glory was eventually demolished, and the new Opera Tower was erected at its place in 1993.

The beautiful Opera Tower is now a boutique hotel named after the first British High Commissioner in Palestine, Herbert Samuel. And also the name of the square was finally changed again to become Herbert Samuel Square.

The story and history of Opera Tower could have become the plot of one of the most exciting operas ever written. It is a story about the pioneers - of the Entertainment Industry, of the Jewish State and, finally, of the National Opera.


HERBERT SAMUEL SQUARE TODAY


The story and history of Opera Tower could have become the plot of one of the most exciting operas ever written. It is a story about the pioneers - of the Entertainment Industry, of the Jewish State and, finally, of the National Opera.

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