The Art Theater (Khudozhestvenny) on Arbat Square was for more than a century the site of openings, cinema festivals, and special events. Built in 1909 by Robert Albert Broksha, it was the third cinema in the city and the only theater especially designed to show movies. In 1912-1913 Broksha had Fyodor Shekhtel, Russia’s finest style moderne architect, redesign and expand the theater. Damaged during the war and reconstructed many times in the following years, little remained of the Shekhtel design.
Using Shekhtel’s original drawings and bits and pieces of the extant interior and exterior, a team of Russian and foreign architects, designers, and construction companies led by Sber has returned the theater to its 1913 appearance. It is estimated the cost was at least 1.5 billion rubles (about $20 million). The theater will be managed by the company Pioner, which has successfully run the eponymous art house cinema for many years.
The theater is opening on April 9 with “Father” staring Anthony Hopkins. The link to the theater is the charming cinema1909.ru.