Baalbeck Studios and Other Sites of Memory
ستوديو بعلبك

منزلٌ من منازِلِ الذّاكرة
Since 2010

A notice reached UMAM D&R in early 2010: the Badie Bulos Building, home to Baalbeck Studios in Sin el Fil, was earmarked for demolition. And so, UMAM D&R got involved to ensure that invaluable audio-visual material and paper documents got rescued. 

Baalbeck Studios began operating at the very beginning of 1963 in a large white stone building surrounded by pine trees in Sin Al-Fil, the same location where the Lebanese Recording Company (LRC) had previously been operating in the 1950s. The company’s object was listed in the 1965 Annuaire des Sociétés Libanaises Par Actions as the "production of feature-length and short films, TV programs, radio programs, commercials, music records, etc.” Baalbeck Studios was a thriving and active presence at the intersection of Lebanon’s progressive and booming, yet disparate, business and arts sectors. For decades, Baalbeck Studios was the source of many of the visual and audio tracks experienced and consumed in Lebanon, as well as in other Arab countries such as Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, to name a few. Commercial, documentary, and feature film directors, producers, and editors, along with singers and voice-over artists, all flocked to the Baalbeck Studios to collaborate, record, and experiment with its equipment and laboratory.

Despite the integral role Baalbeck Studios played in Lebanon and the region’s cultural history, the company ceased operations, and in early 2010 the Baalbeck Studios building was earmarked for demolition. UMAM D&R, dedicated to collecting Lebanon’s memories and archives, intercepted and salvaged the remaining analog film and written materials. Some of the material saved had been very badly affected by passing time, attacks during the civil war, fire, and looting, all of which make it impossible to establish how much has been lost.

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