ODD: The Egg Entry and Photography by Mayssa Jallad

The Egg is an abandoned cinema in the heart of Downtown Beirut. Designed by Joseph Philippe Karam in 1965 as part of the Beirut City Center commercial center, the building takes its freestanding ovoidal shape due to a previous building law which required theaters to be designed without any structure supporting a building over them.

The Egg was in use for barely a few years before it was caught up in the 15 year civil war dividing the city between East and West. The demarcation line fell upon its street and the obscure Egg became refuge to militias and squatters.

After the war, the building in front of it was destroyed during the reconstruction efforts, cutting a part of it in the process. For some reason, most of it has survived. It is one of the only buildings in Downtown Beirut that still bears the scars of the war. It is beloved among Beirutis. and has hosted exhibitions, performances and raves over the years. However, it is constantly under threat of being integrated insensibly within the new luxury architecture of Downtown Beirut.

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