The Granada building in Cairo's Heliopolis will be turned into an open-air theatre, the head of Heliopolis district Ibrahim Saber told Al-Ahram Arabic news site.
The 19th century architectural gem initially overlooked a horse racecourse – which has since become the public Merryland Park – and functioned as a stadium.
According to an article published on Al-Ahram Weekly in 2000, “Following the 1952 Revolution, and as Heliopolis developed into a sprawling residential neighbourhood, a street was paved and tram tracks were laid down, separating the old villa from the horse track.”
The site later became the Granada Casino, and later hosted a small amusement park before it was finally shut down around the early 2000s.
The building’s renovation comes as part of a newly-introduced initiative to revive Heliopolis' heritage by renovating some of the area's historical buildings.
The initiative, which began in July, will involve a number of places including Merryland Park and El-Gamea Square.
Renovations will be carried out by the Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment and Cairo governorate.
The project will reportedly be completed in 12 months.
The decision was taken to renovate the 19th century building following a debate since 2015 over whether it should be preserved or demolished.
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