Egypt’s film heyday is alive and well in this collector’s hands, ...

Lifestyle

Egypt’s film heyday is alive and well in this collector’s hands, for now

Makram Salama has collected thousands of items tracing the industry, but is now worried about their fate

Amr Abdallah Dalsh

In a small flat-turned-museum in Alexandria, 72-year-old Makram Salama’s cluttered collection of negatives, posters and projectors traces the history of Egyptian cinema through its 20th-century heyday.

The collection started with photos and posters from his hometown in southern Egypt, where he worked in a sugar cane factory, and grew to include thousands of items picked up from production companies and others who abandoned them as they switched to digital film.

Items include 50 vintage cinema projectors and a rare poster from the 1932 film The Egyptian Author, which Salama says is thought to be one of the country’s oldest...

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