Opened in 1909 and located in the heart of the city in Arbat Square, Khudozhestvenny is one of the oldest cinemas in the world.
At the time, it was a breakthrough event: back then films were screened at random places that were poorly adapted for the process. Khudozhestvenny, on the other hand, struck the imagination with its rich and elegant design.
The original building was built in 1909 by the architect Nikolay Blagoveshchensky who conceived it as an elegant one-story Art Nouveau palace. Three years after its construction, a decision was made to expand the cinema for it to accommodate the growing number of viewers. This task was assigned to the well-established architect Fyodor Shechtel. As a result, the cinema was totaling an impressive number of 950 seats. During WWII, Khudozhestvenny remained operative with a repertoire of military film collections and newsreels. In 1955, Khudozhestvenny became the first wide-screen cinema in the USSR and is also known for having debuted Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potyomkin.
In 2020, large-scale restoration work was completed based on the original designs by Fyodor Shechtel. The building's historical appearance was restored and Khudozhestvenny has now the status of an Object of Cultural Heritage of the Russian Federation hosting the premieres and film festivals with a curatorial approach to its program. Today, it boasts an active public space and acts as a powerful place for all who truly love the art of cinema.
Khudozhestvenny Cinema and Gucci
Gucci’s relationship with this cinema was launched with an event to screen the Gucci Aria collection there in April 2021 followed by the recent opening of Gucci 100 Pop-Up and a ‘Guccified’ lounge area. This partnership will continue unfolding in frames of Gucci 100th Anniversary events with a number of special initiatives.
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