Leningrad in Sankt Peterburg / Russia


Cinema Leningrad Sankt Peterburg postcard 1959
Wikipedia knows:

The house was built in 1910-1914 according to the project of the architect Nikolai N. Ignatiev as an exhibition pavilion of the Imperial Russian Society of Horticulture in the Tavrichesky Garden quarter. In 1955-1956 it was reconstructed into a cinema by the project of the architect I. I. Chashnik. The cinema was opened on November 5, 1958. It was one of the first large-scale projects in this segment. The hall was equipped with a panoramic screen 28 meters wide and 10 meters high, as well as stereo sound.

The cinema had three halls: a hall with a panoramic screen with 1128 seats, Green Hall with 200 seats as a feature film hall and Blue Hall with 200 seats for popular science movies.

The loudest premieres took place here. For a long time Leningrad set the tone for the city's cultural life. By the end of the 20th century, the technical side of the cinema hall became obsolete, and the cinema life of the city moved to shopping and entertainment centers. In 2004 the cinema was closed.

After the reconstruction of the building by Ricardo Bofill in 2014, the Leningrad Center Show Space was opened in the building of the former Leningrad cinema. The art director of the show space is Felix Mikhailov, a well-known Russian theater, film and television director, screenwriter and producer. The repertoire of the show space includes large-scale performances at the intersection of various types of art: theater, musical, circus, ballet, kinetic art, puppet theater, video installations and 3D-mapping. In January 2018, regular film screenings were revived.

The postcard was published in 1959.

Here you can know more about cinemas in Sankt Peterburg.

Salyut in Dnipro / Ukraine


Cinema Salyut Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk postcard 1982
Dnipro is since 2016 the name of the Ukrainian city Dnipropetrovsk - like it is written on this 1982 published postcard. I find it remarkable that only the Russian name of the city is printed on the postcard - not the Ukrainian name ...

Cinema Salyut was opened in the spring of 1976 and was presented as a gift to the city for its 200th anniversary (celebrated in May 1976). The cinema was designed for 800 seats.  At the beginning of the 2000s, the cinema was reconstructed and preserved. But the movie has not been shown in it for more than ten years. The building is now abandoned. 

The name refers to the Soviet Salyut programme - the first space station programme, undertaken by the Soviet Union. It involved a series of four crewed scientific research space stations and two crewed military reconnaissance space stations over a period of 15 years, from 1971 to 1986. 

To the left of the entrance you can see advertising for the film Осенний марафон / Autumn Marathon, a 1979 Soviet romantic comedy-drama directed by Georgiy Daneliya and winner of some international awards.

Here you can read more about cinemas in Dnipro.


Rodina in Birobidzhan / Russia


Birobidzhan cinema Rodina postcard 1971
Birobidzhan is a town and the administrative center of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Russia, located on the Trans-Siberian Railway, near the China-Russia border. It has 75,413 inhabitants and its official language is Yiddish.

In the thirties, when the construction of the region was in full swing, residents were eagerly awaiting the appearance of a cinema house. The construction of the building was completed in 1937.

Its first name was "Genrikh Kazakevich ”- given in honor of the famous cultural figure Genrikh Kazakevich (1883–1935). Then the name changed Birobidzhan, and now Rodina

In 2002, the building of the cinema - one of the oldest in the city - was completely reconstructed. The cinema has two halls: “Black” with 98 seats and “Red” with 170 seats. In the cinema Rodina, there are showing films in Yiddish, Russian and English.

The postcard is from 1971. Unfortunately, it isn't possible to read the films advertised.

Cinema "G.I. Kotovsky" in Bălți / Moldova


Cinema Kotovsky Balti postcard
Cinema Kotovsky was put into operation in 1973, and it became the largest in Moldova. It had two halls: the main one for 1200 seats and the small one for 350 spectators. There were widescreen and stereo sound.

The cinema was named after Grigory Kotovsky (1881-1925), a Soviet military, born in the Bessarabia Governorate.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the cinema began to fade away. But in 2001 it got a second life - it was acquired by a private company from the capital, re-equipped according to modern requirements and given a new name Patria. And in 2015 it closed - low attendance made its operation unprofitable.

Here you can find more information about cinemas in Bălți.


Oktyabr in Taganrog/Russia


cinema Oktyabr in Taganrok postcard 1969
On skif_tags journal I found a wonderful article with great photos about cinema Oktyabr / October in Taganrog. Here is a part translated into English: 

"The cinema Oktyabr appeared in our city in 1937, to the 20th anniversary of the Great October Revolution, the main holiday of the country of the Soviets.
This was a typical project of the work of the talented architect Viktor Petrovich Kalmykov (1908-1981), who in the early 30s became famous for his futuristic project Saturniy (an international space city built on artificial rings encircling the earth)

But, the architect's real success can be considered his projects of typical cinemas, made in the style of constructivism. Suffice it to say that out of 60 cinemas built from 1935 to 1940 in various cities of the RSFSR, 50 were realized according to the projects of V.P. Kalmykov. For the anniversary of the revolution, cinemas similar to our Oktyabr appeared in many cities of the Soviet Union (Kirov, Frunse, Omsk).

Under German occupation in World War II between 1941 and 1943, the cinema continued to work and considered to soldiers. A musical group under the direction of Makarov performed in front of the audience in the foyer, and on weekends, local residents, everyone who wished, were allowed to see the sessions.

The cinema had two halls, a large one and a small one. A newsreel was shown in the small hall, and when the large hall was vacated, people from the small hall passed into the large one, which was through the wall. And the entire wall was pasted over with movie posters of past years from floor to ceiling. And it was the foremost entertainment to play the game find such and such a movie.
The main feature of the large hall was the gradually fading light. This was not the case in any other cinema in the city."

In 2007 the cinema was closed and the building is used for an alcohol market now ...

Here I found more pictures and information about cinemas in Taganrog. I am really surprised to found in this city of 258 000 inhabitants not only one big enthusiast of history and cinemas.

The postcard was published in 1969. Unfortunately, it isn't possible to read the films advertised.


Kino International in Berlin/Germany - "Königin der Wildnis" + "Eine total, total verrückte Welt"


Kino international Berlin postcard 1974

This postcard is a unique piece in my collection of postcards showing the Kino International in Berlin. It was published in the USSR in 1974 and sold for 3 kopeks. Maybe, it was a portfolio of postcards and sold in the shops for the members of the Soviet Army and their families in East Germany (so called magazines).

Two films are advertised on the large poster at the cinema:

- Königin der Wildnis - Born free, the great British movie about the lion Elsa (directed by James Hill, 1966) and

- Eine total, total verrückte Welt - It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (directed by Stanley Kramer, USA 1963).

The first one came to East German cinemas on 4 July 1969, the second one on 2 August 1968. Maybe it was a rerelease of these movies about 1974 (when the postcard was published).

Cinéma Casino in Tébessa / Algeria


Cinéma Casino Tébessa Algeria postcard

This postcard is from the 1950s. The building was a multi-purpose event venue, also used as a cinema and casino. Most recently it was called Cinéma Maghreb and closed forever in 2018.


L'Empire Cinéma in Fès / Morocco


L'empire cinema Fes Morocco postcard postcard

The construction of the L'Empire Cinéma in Fès began in the summer of 1931 with the Empire-Jardin, an outdoor cinema venue. The architect of the cinema with 1800seats was François Robert (born in 1902 in Charleville), who worked for the company Balima and designed for it the Balima hotels in Rabat and Ifrane, as well as other buildings on avenue Mohammed V in Rabat and around it. 
Mr. Joseph Seiberras from Malta (1886-1942) was the owner not only of this emblematic cinema of the colonial period in Morocco, but also of forty other cinemas built at the time in Algeria and Morocco.
The cinema was closed in 2012, demolished and replaced by the Mégarama Fès, a multiplex cinema.

About the history of cinemas in Fès look here.


125th anniversary of the cinema / Swiss Post


My sister sent me a letter with these stamps. In December 2020, the cinema celebrated its 125th anniversary. Thanks to the Swiss Post, I was reminded of this. The birthday party was bigger 25 years ago ...

I love these stamps illustrated by Michael Stünzi. Cinema culture changed in the 125 years of its existence. On the left stamp a scene with the projector used by the Lumières is shown, in the middle can be seen classic rolls of film, and on the right there is a digitally presented 3D experience. The cinema audience wears the fashion of the respective era.

I like the creative idea that everyone is sitting in the same two rows, connected through the times (look at the different chairs!) - and printed as stamps together. Maybe the girl left is the older woman in the middle. And the man with the mustache in the middle could be the old man on the right. The projectionists were not forgotten either. Even if I would have liked it better if the woman in the middle had worn dungarees...

Times are changing and the cinema as a place looking films together will continue. Hopefully! Let's be creative!


Gloria in Weissenfels/Germany


Gloria Weissenfels cinema postcard 1928
I met the Gloria cinema in Weissenfels in summer 2013. On the way to the holidays destination on the Unstrut river, we got off the train with our bikes in Weissenfels. And immediately came across this impressive building (look the train on the postcard). It's a big box, unfortunately empty for many years.
The Gloria has had better days. It was opened on October 18, 1928. The architect was Carl Fugmann. The remarkable building in the Bauhaus style impresses with its nested cubes, slotted windows with originally preserved lattice division and a corner structure with brick strips. The neon sign Gloria was placed directly on the street. The cinema had 1.200 seats and was also used for congresses and variety events. It was already equipped with modern air conditioning and red plush armchairs.
It is a really big cinema for a city with 40.000 inhabitants. But Weissenfels is (or was?) an important industrial city, famous for shoe manufacturing and the food industry.
In 1991, the UFA-Theater AG took over the cinema. In 1994 a discotheque moved into the building, which had to close three years later. The building was emergency secured in 2019. And it is a listed historical monument. It was never parted in smaller halls.
The postcard was printed shortly after the opening. You can see at the cinema advertising for the film Dulderin Weib / Tesha with Maria Corda. This film was released in German cinemas in 1928. 
The postcard was sent in October 1943. Pierre wrote to his wife Suzan. He was a French slave laborer in Weissenfels and worked in a factory that was on the same street as the cinema. He walked past the cinema every day. I hope Pierre and Suzan saw each other again ...
I met another cinema designed by Carl Fugmann in my next holidays, the Centralkino in Wittenberg.
Vielen Dank an Greta, die mir die Postkarte übersetzte!