Sporting Club and Theater
Sporting Club was the most prestigious and respectable club in Izmir with its extraordinary architecture and impeccable service to distinguished guests. From its foundation in 1893 to its demolition in the 1922 fire, it was the club of choice for notables in Izmir.
Sporting Club was built by Elie Jules Guiffray, a well-known investor in Izmir. Guiffray is related on his mother’s side with the Dussaud family, who undertook the construction of the quay of Izmir. Following his investments in transportation in Izmir, Elie Guiffray took over the “Société des Quais de Smryne”, which constructed and operated the quay of Izmir. Rapidly increasing in Izmir, the Guiffray family also owns massive industrial investments, including Şark Sanayii and Elektrik Fabrikası (Power Plant). With the conviction that Izmir needs a prestigious club, he continued his investments in the entertainment industry.
Prior to the construction of Sporting Club, the concept was introduced to notables in Izmir. With the pre-payments thus received, the building was soon ready to operate. It wasn’t until 1898 that the building was completely finished.
The Sporting Club operated with a membership system and only admitted new members upon reference. The candidates were subject to a two-week test before they were honored full membership. The club was known to be quite strict about this principle. This elite membership system allowed the club to be one of the two most prestigious venues in Izmir at the time.