Blueprint for majestic cinema culture hub

Main applicant: Hifadhi Zanzibar Ltd
Partners: Busara Promotions, Reclaim Women Space (RWS), Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF)
Implementation: Tanzania
Project duration: July 2019 – August 2020
Project code: 02-01153

Zanzibar had the first cinema in East Africa, Majestic Cinema, built in the 1920s by the colonial government. The building burned down in 1954 and later it has been rebuilt in its current form. Today its condition is deplorable. In the past, the cinema played an important socio-cultural role in the island as an inclusive community space. In 2010, Zanzibar International Film Festival’s director Martin Mhando, undertook the first attempts to bring the building back to life, to celebrate this important cultural venue of Zanzibar. The local Government, after recognizing its importance, has brought together ZIFF and other cultural operators with Hifadhi Zanzibar, aiming at redesigning the building into a self-sustainable culture hub. Hifadhi Zanzibar is preparing a restoration plan and it is working on an investment plan. This project aims at developing an inclusive and sustainable model in which the new use of the building will be optimised for Zanzibar’s communities and its’ cultural operators.

This project is led by Hifadhi Zanzibar in partnership with the NGO’s Busara Promotions and Reclaim Women Space. Hifadhi Zanzibar is a private company with a public goal. It is a heritage investment and management company, supporting the sustainable socio-economic development of Zanzibar and Stone Town in particular with its tangible and intangible heritage as starting point.