The 5th annual Irish Film Festival in Moscow (2012) was be held in the historic 600 seat Khudozhestvenniy Cinema centrally located near Moscow’s Starry Arbat. I happy to experience the cinema’s grandeur during Irish week and watched an actually film in English. Halleluiah!

The cinema which is one of the oldest if not the oldest,  was opened in 1909 by businessman Robert Broksh and has seen some of the most famous and has seen some of the most famous moments in Russian cinematic history. The theatre is famous for the premieres of some of the first Soviet sound films and an early showing of a colour film. The Khudozhestvennyi cinema theatre was the first one in Moscow to be fitted with a Dolby-Stereo sound system in 1996. The theater has two screening halls for 600 and 50 seats.

When inside you do get a sense of it’s history,it looks like old cinema’s from the movies, like most old things in Moscow, there’s a sense of nostalgia to the decor and many elements of design that are both impressive (like the chandeliers) and very kitsch (like the grand piano with a fake pianist). They even serve pop corns in the old pop corn boxes and some black and white film paper keeping with the theme.

I felt I was transported back in time, maybe the 20’s,  should’ve worn a a 20’s dress, pearls and heels to fit in with the moment, but jeans and t-shirt did it just fine. Given the history of Soviet cinema, it’s worth a visit and the best time is when they have international film festival’s there.

How to find it: Street Arbatskaya Ploshchad (Square), 14, Metro Station „Arbatskaya


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