France's Vinci builts first 3D cinema in Turkmenistan

29th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on Wednesday inaugurated the first 3D cinema in a country where films were banned until 2008 by his eccentric predecessor.

"(The French group) Vinci has built the first 3D cinema in Turkmenistan for 20 million dollars," the group's regional director general, Igor Gorwiz, said at the opening ceremony.

The previous Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov, who died in December 2006, launched a cultural crackdown in 1999 that saw the ballet, opera, circus and cinema all banned for falling foul of "the national mentality."

Located in the historical centre of the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, the newly built cinema consists of an ordinary screening room with 500 seats and a separate 70-seat 3D screening room.

Until now, the city had only two cinemas, which showed Turkmen and Indian films.

Berdymukhamedov has rejected some of the more bizarre aspects of the cult of personality introduced by his predecessor in the ex-Soviet Central Asian republic.

© 2011 AFP

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