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How will Minsk’s Pobeda cinema look like after renovation?

The legendary cinema Pobeda closed for a long-awaited renovation. The building required modernization and appropriate equipment long ago.

In the 17th century, there was a church which was the part of the Catholic monastery of Benedictines complex. In the 19th century, here stood buildings of the Transfiguration Orthodox Convent. In 1929, there was the Pishchevik club, a masterpiece of constructivism, which was renamed in honor of Stalin in 1931. A Moscow architect, Andrei Burov, who is known for his “open-work  house” on Leningradsky Avenue in Moscow, is the author of this unusual project.

Stalin´s working club became one of the main centers of creativity and leisure for Minsk citizens. There were dramatic, choral, musical and ballet clubs. Also, exhibitions and celebrations were held there.

Nazis organized a soldier club there, but guerilla fighters blew it up on September 6,1943. As a result, only parts of the foundation remained, on which a new cinema appeared.

Boris Kostich, a member of the Belarusian Union of architects:
There were even traces of buildings, arches, niches, corridors in the cellars of this cinema. It was decided to restore it after WWII, but in a little different way. The architectural appearance of this building changed. After the war everything was built in a neoclassical style and we try to preserve it. There were several projects.There was Polkovnikov's project in 1945, Langbard made the following project in 1947. However, the project was approved only in 1948, when Langbard and Baklanov made the project together. So the cinema was built according to this project except for some details. The vases were on the parapet, but they did not do it.

More than 3,000 Minsk residents came to the opening night to Pobeda on November 6, 1950. Remember these shots, because the appearance of the cinema of the 1950s is taken as a basis for the future restoration. Stalin's Empire style will be preserved and restored both outside and inside. A pink facade will replace the warm gray one with a brown roof, as it was in the middle of the 20th century. The cinema will shine in the light of lanterns outside and fill the classic internal design with soft light of chandeliers and sconces.

The sculpture will be replaced by a high floor lamp at the main entrance. Light green walls and malachite columns will be harmoniously combined with brown windows and paneled oak doors. Furniture will be made from dark wood in the style of the 1950s. A snow-white stucco on facades and in the foyer and halls will be restored.

Boris Kostich:
We try to style the sign Pobeda in the same way as it was before. At this stage, the task is to keep all the designs and to remove all elements which are not specific to this building.

Alexander Nitiyevsky, chief architect of RUE Institute Belgosproekt projects:
We are making a modern ventilation system, because the building is quite old, also the roof will be redone. We want to make a hall, to cover the walls with classical special panels which will be dark, and to introduce historical elements.

The appearance of Pobeda after the renovation will completely repeat the original appearance, but the technical side will meet all the requirements of the 21st century. The number of seats will decrease, but the distance between them will increase and the screening will be more comfortable.

Alexander Nitiyevsky:
We will even increase the size of the screen; there will be a modern Dolby system. In addition, we will organize a small hall for art cinema and for chamber perception. There's a hall for 78 people.

By the way, the idea is not new. In 1950, the cinema was equipped with three halls: a large one for large-screen films, a small one for chronicles and a summer one, which was located in a picturesque courtyard with a fountain.

We will soon see a favorite movie in the renovated cinema Pobeda, which will look the same as it was in 1950.

Minsk’s Pobeda cinema