Kasyno Kultury

Kwidzyn: the former cinema has been adapted into a cultural centre. The building once again serves the inhabitants

The former “Rainbow” cinema in Kwidzyn has finally seen a major refurbishment. In the rebuilt and modernised building, a Cultural Casino was created, which will be used by the Kwidzyn Cultural Centre for many projects and activities. During the communist era, a cinema operated in the building, which closed in 1994. At the end of 2017, the entire building became the property of the city. After numerous perturbations, the property has finally regained its former glory and its interiors are once again vibrant. The project for the metamorphosis of the landmark was carried out by Yang Architekci Group.

The former “Rainbow” cinema was built around 1850 and housed the civilian casino “Casino Preussenhof”. In 1935, Joseph Modest became the owner of the building and converted it into a “Film-Bühne” cinema. After the Second World War, in March 1946, films started to be shown in the building again. The first production that the people of Kwidzyn saw was “Rainbow”. It was from this Soviet film that the name of the cinema was taken, which operated until 1994. Until then, it was owned by the District Film Distribution Company “Neptun – Film”. The facility was then sold to a private individual. After years of effort, the city authorities became the new owner of the building at the end of 2017. Since then, conceptual work has been underway, a construction project has been prepared and the necessary permits have been obtained from, among others, the Pomeranian Voivodeship Conservator of Monuments, who issued a permit for the construction and architectural works.

Former casino, early 20th century. Photo: Pomeranian Digital Library

Kasyno Kultury

The winner of the tender faced a considerable challenge in the form of a complete reconstruction of the monument and adapting it as a place open to the cultural needs of both formal and informal groups of the city’s inhabitants, as well as carrying out conservation work on the façade and some internal elements. The Cultural Casino has become an attractive space where cultural events in the broadest sense of the term are organised. After completion of the works, the interiors created, among other things, a multifunctional hall with an area of approximately 200 square metres with an auditorium seating up to 168. This space can be configured to suit the nature of the event. In the basement of the building, there is a refreshment kiosk and a room suitable for small events or music rehearsals. In addition, the building is equipped with modern audiovisual installations.

The Cultural Casino – before and after. Photo: Aleksander Łubiński/UM Kwidzyn

The first stage of the works consisted of demolition work, concerning, among other things, the brick arched ceilings above the cellars, which were in danger of collapsing. Demolition and reconstruction of the roof structures with new elements was also carried out. In terms of conservation works, the demolition of loose external plaster and the dismantling of window and door frames was carried out. The second stage of the works included restoration work. This included plastering and painting the façade. In addition, the roof slopes were covered with titanium zinc sheets, gutters, downpipes and window sills were installed. Damp and thermal insulation was installed on basement walls sunk into the ground.

The building before and after renovation. Photo: Aleksander Łubiński/UM Kwidzyn and Google Maps

Inside the former cinema, the brick arched ceilings under the main auditorium were restored, repair work was carried out on other brick ceilings and lintels in the basement and a display area for the preserved fragments of polychrome, removed from the ceiling above the main auditorium and subjected to conservation work. New windows and doors were fitted throughout the building, the plaster and wall coverings were fully restored, and new stone and ceramic tile floors were laid, along with insulation and damp-proofing layers, and a lift was installed to enable movement between floors. Completely new internal installations were made throughout the building.

The building before and now. Photo: Aleksander Łubiński/UM Kwidzyn and Google Maps

The former “Rainbow” cinema has regained its lost splendour and is now operating under a new name, referring to the building’s former function. Completed in November 2023. The Cultural Casino has become a space for cultural activities and a venue for various events for residents of all ages.

Architectural design: Yang Architekci Group
Contractor: Rembud Krzysztof Paziewski Kwidzyn
Implementation: 2023
Photos: Aleksander Łubiński/UM Kwidzyn
Source: kwidzyn.pl

Read also: Architecture in Poland | Metamorphosis | Renovation | Monument | History

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