But Gereja Ayam unexpectedly experienced a resurrection after Indonesian filmmakers Mira Lesmana and Riri Riza used it as a location to film Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 (What’s the Deal With Love 2), which was released to critical and popular acclaim in 2016.
A sequel to the the equally acclaimed 2002 film Ada Apa Dengan Cinta (What’s the Deal With Love) starring Indonesian actors Dian Sastrowardoyo and Nicholas Saputra, Gereja Ayam attracted more visitors as word spread of its use as a filming location.
The hype has led to its renovation in 2014. Alamsjah restored and finished parts of the building, installing jeweled tiles, paneled windows, a paved access road and worked on the underground prayer rooms.
Displays in the main hall [the body of the chicken] document the project’s growth from a divine vision to a real house of worship.
The number of tourists prompted Alamsjah to build a small cafe selling traditional treats inside the chicken’s rear. Visitors can also climb up to the top of the bird’s head for amazing 360-degree views.
Gereja Ayam continues to be in business during the Covid-19 pandemic, after the Magelang Regency administration reopened the edifice on Friday, July 10, 2020, following its closure for a few months after the coronavirus was detected in Indonesia on March 2, 2020.
Like other sights, strict health protocols are in place for visitors. These include a maximum of four people on the jeeps taking them there, as well as washing one's hands and social distancing inside the building and the dining area.
But these strictures in no way detract from the visit to this spiritual edifice and pop icon.
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