Beside the central Book City, the other very good place near my flat is Azadi Cinema. It's just 20 minutes from my house to there by bus. Unfortunately, I went only one time there and it was for seeing the film Nader and Simin, a Seperation in May. Not because I'm lazy, this time because I've got no friends with free time to come with me to the cinema!
Azadi cinema complex is the biggest, the best, and newest cinema in Tehran and the whole Iran. It was first founded in 1969 by Rohani brothers. They first wanted to call it Broadway, but changed their mind about this Western name and preferred the name remind them of their childhood hobby, so they called it Shahr-e Farang. It means Peep Show in English and before the advent of films and cinemas in Iran was very popular.
|Shahr-e Farang or peep show|
|Azadi cinema in the past|
Later the name was changed to Azadi which means freedom, and it wasn't unusual since the Revolution 1979 names of many places and streets were changed to make the atmosphere more Islamic.
|Written in Persian on the cinema wall: Azadi|
|Azadi Cinema after it was burnt|
For 8 years there was a burnt broken building there till it was knocked down and a whole-new building was made in 2008. It has got 8 floors and 5 salons, including one 600-seated salon and four 200-seated salons., 2 restaurants, 3 cafes and 2 business floors. Every month around 120,000 people visit this complex, so it's number 1 highly-visited cinema in Iran.