Lata 50. przed kinem "Moskwa". Widok od strony ul. Puławskiej. Źródło: NAC - Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe

Moscow – one of the most important cinemas in Warsaw during the communist period

The last historic screening at the Moskwa cinema, one of the most important cinemas in Warsaw during the communist period, was of the film Strange Days. The building was then closed down and demolished shortly afterwards. Thus ended the history of this iconic venue on the map of the capital, with which generations of Varsovians were associated.

The Moskwa cinema operated between 1950 and 1996 at 19 Puławska Street in Warsaw. It was the largest cinema in the post-war capital. The free-standing cinema building was constructed to a design by Kazimierz Marczewski and Stefan Putowski.

1950s in front of the Moskwa cinema. View from Puławska Street. Source: NAC – National Digital Archive

The cinema had modern interiors with over a thousand seats for viewers. In September 1951, two stone lions chiseled by Józef Trenarowski were placed in front of the cinema building. It was one of the most modern and elegant cinemas in communist Poland. In the 1970s and 1980s, as part of the Film Confrontations, in addition to the standard repertoire, it screened films that were winners of international film festivals. In 1981, the cinema building was immortalised by Chris Niedenthal in one of the iconic photographs from the period of martial law, showing a SKOT armoured personnel carrier standing in front of an advertisement for Francis Ford Coppola’s film Apocalypse Now, located on the cinema building.

A view of the cinema from Pulawska Street around 1960 and the same view today. Source: and Google Maps

The last film screening took place on 30 April 1996. Demolition of the cinema began shortly afterwards and the Europlex office building was erected in its place. All that remains of the former edifice are sculptures of two lions by Jozef Trenarowski. They were placed on the pavement in front of the office building on the side of Puławska Street.


Read also: Architecture in Poland | Socialist realism | Interesting facts | History | Warsaw

Latest content on the site

Beauty is all around you