Moskva in Sankt-Peterburg / Russia


cinema Moskva Sankt-Peterburg Leningrad postcard 1960
In 1939, USSR's first three-hall cinema Moscow with 1200 seats was built. Its author is professor arch. Lazar Markovich Khidekel (1904-1986). The cinema was built on the site of the 1922 destroyed Church of St. Catherine in Yekateringof.
The facade of the cinema is faced with natural granite and marble, and the upper part is crowned with a sculptural frieze made by sculptor Igor .V. Krestovsky (1893-1976).
Cinema Moscow was  taken under state protection in 1967. The building is still standing, but there is no cinema.

The postcard is a little special. First, it is described - Soviet postcards in my collection were almost never sent. Second, it is noticeable that the reverse side is not printed at all. Usually there is the address field and numbers for the publication and also the price. The price, on the other hand, is on the front this time: ц. 1 Р. = Price 1 Rubel.

I suspect that the postcard was made and sold by a private person. Soviet DIY.


Khiva in Tashkent / Uzbekistan


cinema Khiva Taskent postcard 1916
Postcards more than 100 years old are like jewels in my colletion. This is a real one. The postcard was sent in March 1916 and is of very good quality. I'm think it is made before 1914. Lilja wrote this postcard to her mother Milda Janson in Rostov-on-Don. The card was stamped in Rosov.
Lilja wrote, that Samarkand and Tashkent are small towns, there are only few Europeans. A postcard with a cinema and a car seems to be a sign of progress.

The cinema Khiva / Хива / Xiva  was built in 1910  by the architect Georgy Mikhailovich Svarichevsky, who was born in 1868 in the city of Chișinău (Kishinev, at this time Bessarabia, today Moldova). Until his death in 1936, he was very actively involved in the development of the city and region of Tashkent.

The owner of the cinema was Grand Duke Nikolai Konstantinovich of Russia (1850–1918), a grandson of Nichosla I of Russia. Nikolai was an officer and a womanizer too. He had an affair with a notorious American woman Fanny Lear. Due to his affair, he stole three valuable diamonds from the revetment of one of the most valuable family icons. He was declared insane and he was banished to Tashkent. He lived there in a newly built Romanov Palace. 

The Grand Duke was engaged in entrepreneurship. He was the owner of a number of enterprises in Tashkent: a soap factory, photographic workshops, billiard rooms, the sale of kvass, rice processing, soap and cotton factories. He was also involved in laying irrigation canals in the Hungry Steppe and was engaged in the improvement of the city of Tashkent. He paved the streets, built a theater, a club, a hospital for the poor, an almshouse, a circus and even a brothel. 

And this cinema, too. It is named after the city Khiva. Nikolai Romanov himself took part in the Khiva campaign in 1873. And not only the name reains the town: The external appearance of the building itself, smoothly plastered with loess clay without any tint, reminded of Khiva's kala buildings. The main corner entrance, with two three-quarter, rounded, slightly tapering upward towers, was stylized as a khan's palace. The auditorium was decorated with a cornice of 1500 blades of Cossack sabers and swords. The curtain depicted a scene of a parade of Russian troops - a copy of a painting by Nikolai Karazin from his famous Khiva Album. In the foyer, cages with monkeys and parrots were located, entertaining the audience before the film, and the walls were decorated with oriental landscapes.

Nikolai Romanov was the owner of the building and rented out the cinema. That was another very lucrative business. As a real monopolist, he already in 1911 bought out several land plots in the old city of Tashkent and built cinemas "Modern", "Sheikhantaur", "Elzhe" and "Moulin Rouge" on them.
It seems, that Tashkent and its region was his own kingdom ...

Max Vysokinsky is another person connected with Tashkent's cinemas. He became famous as a clown and later an enterpreneuer. In 1907, on the territory of the City Garden, he opened the first Tashkent's cinematographic pavilion called Electrobiograph. He later rented the Grand Duke's cinemas with much success.

At the beginning of 1917, the electrotheatre, already known under the name Winter Khiva (since there was also a summer theater Khiva), burned down. In its place, a brick cinema was rebuilt at the expense of the wife of Prince Nadezhda Alexandrovna. It was later given the name Young Guard and was popular until its demolition after the 1966 earthquake.

So many interesting facts about one cinema. This story should be made into a film ...


125th anniversary of the cinema / Swiss Post


This first day letter is a gift from my sister. 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 (without the 3D-glasses). The projectionists were not forgotten either. Even if I would have liked it better if the woman in the middle had worn dungarees...

You can see on the envelope a cinema-building in the three ages with people also showing on the stamps. At all, you can tell little stories with these little pictures.

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


Real Cinema in Madrid / Spain


Real Cinema Madrid postcard

The Real Cinema was a movie theater located in Plaza de Isabel II, close to the Teatro Real and the Royal Palace. It opened on May 15, 1920, and was inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII with the screening of the film Francia Pintoresca, El cuarto número 23, La hija del Plata and Vacaciones de Solly. With a capacity for 1000 seats and 54 boxes, it became one of the largest cinemas in Spain.

The cinema was designed by architect Teodore de Anasagasti. He was also the architect of two other Madrid cinemas: the Monumental Cinema (1923, now Teatro Monumental) and El Cisne / Chueca.

In 1923, an outdoor cinema was installed on the roof of the Real Cinema, with a capacity for 800 people.

In 1931, the Spanish Second Republic began and the cinema’s name was changed to Cine de Opera. At the start of the Spanish Civil War, a bomb caused incendiary damage to the building. The cinema re-opened in 1943.

The building was renovated between 1964 and 1965. In 1967 the cinema was remodelled to become the Cinerama for the screening of 70 mm films and the auditorium was later remodelled to accommodate 1400 seats.

In 1992, the company that owns the building hired architect Gilbert Lopez-Atalaya to renovate, so that there would be a new multiplex of four auditoriums, the largest auditorium having 400 seats and the other auditoriums totalling 670 seats.

In 2020 it was completely demolished. Today there is a hotel.

The postcard is from a postcard book, there is a perforation on the left to make it easier to tear off. You can read below the name Real Cinema "Empresa Sagarra" - the name of the cinema company. Unfortuntally, it is not possible to read the names of the advertised films.

Cinema Burg Vogelsang in Schleiden / Germany


Cinema Burg Vogelsang Schleiden postcard
The Cinema on castle Vogelsang is the low building with the writing Cinema. It was built in the 1950s.
In 1934, the construction of the castle Vogelsang started as one of three so called Ordensburg for training the next generation of leaders of the NSDAP.
After the Second World War, the complex was taken over by the British army, who set up the military training area on 6354 hectares in the surrounding area. From 1950 to the end of 2005 the Belgian military used the area as a military training area and built other buildings on the site of the former Ordensburg. The already completed base and outer walls of the Haus des Wissens (House of Knowledge) planned by the National Socialists were used for the construction of the soldiers' accommodation Van Dooren, so that the angled architectural style is similar to the construction of the buildings from the Nazi era. The Belgian military cinema (later a theater) was built on the neighboring foundation of a planned auditorium. 
The castle has been under monument protection since 1989. In 2016, the Vogelsang International Place with the Nazi documentation Vogelsang and the Eifel National Park Center opened.
The cinema was reopened in 2012. The hall with about 200 seats has been renovated and now shines in the splendor of the 1950s.