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A ticket at the Jenin cinema will cost 10 shekels ($2.60), the price of half a pack of cigarettes, and organizers say separate seating for men and women is available, if requested, to reflect local traditions. Fakhri Hamad, who will operate the cinema, said he will try to show quality films as well as audience requests for popular entertainment. He also said some Israeli films would be shown, with an emphasis on those focusing on Palestinians.

Munir Gharbiyeh, 23, a university student from Jenin, said he’s never been to a movie house before. “We have lots of spare time in Jenin,” he said. “We always hear about new movies. It would be great for me to see the new movies here in Jenin.”

Not everyone welcomes the cinema. The student council of the Arab American University of Jenin and three other groups said in a statement they are concerned the cinema, by screening Israeli films, could become a vehicle for normalization with Israel, something they oppose as long as the West Bank remains under Israeli occupation.

The statement called for Palestinian government oversight over the cinema and other cultural institutions.

Vetter hopes to expand the project. Next year, he plans to open a film school in Jenin and launch the West Bank’s first international film festival. Vetter’s latest documentary, about rebuilding the Jenin cinema, would likely open the festival, he said.

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Associated Press writers Dalia Nammari and Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank, contributed to this report.