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Soviet cinema to become Modern Art Museum

Published time: March 01, 2012 17:18
Edited time: March 01, 2012 21:18
The Udarnik movie theater, Moscow (RIA Novosti / Oleg Lastochkin)

The Udarnik movie theater, Moscow (RIA Novosti / Oleg Lastochkin)

The central venue for Soviet film premieres, Moscow’s Udarnik Cinema, is due to become a home for Russian contemporary art.

A monument to Russian constructivism, the only cinema in Russia with a telescopic opening roof (which has not worked for decades) is on track to become Moscow's first complex museum of contemporary Russian art.

The project is curated by entrepreneur and philanthropist Shalva Breus, the head of the Artchronika Cultural Foundation and the founder of the Kandinsky Prize for contemporary art.

Breus plans to fill the new venue with Sots-art and Artchronika’s extensive collection of works by contemporary Russian artists. The cinema hall itself will become a platform for lectures, film screenings and meetings.

Yet the main purpose is to revive the unique, historic building – the timeless monument to constructivism. Part of the famed House on the Embankment, completed in 1931 as the Government Building and a residence for the Soviet elite, it was designed by architect Boris Iofan.

In the 1990s it was a car dealership, and in the 2000s it was home to a casino. Over recent years the cinema building has fallen into disuse, but now it looks as though things will be put back in order.