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Big Cinema (Official)
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Velke Kino
Located on Labour Square (Namesti Prace), the 2,264-seat Big Cinema (Velke Kino) was opened on 7th September 1932. It was designed as a temporary structure to serve workers at a nearby factory. It was designed by architect Frantisek Lydie Gahura, with the exterior a plain box, with no decoration. The auditorium was decorated in a simple Streamline Moderne style and there was no ceiling, so the welded steel truss’s supporting the roof were visible. At the time of opening, it was the largest cinema in the country and the largest in central Europe. The facilities inside the cinema included a playroom and a rest room for children. As well as cinema use, there were sports matches, concerts and theatre performances. The original seating was made of wood and all seats were on a single sloping floor. The Big Cinema was severely damaged by three Allied bombs on 22nd November 1944. Repairs were quickly carried out.
In 1958 alterations were made to the plans of architect Karel Fiser. In 1974 it was re-seated and the seating capacity was reduced to 1,100-seats. The Big Cinema was declared a listed monument in 2001. Another renovation took place in 2004. The Big Cinema was closed on March 1, 2016 due to damage incurred on the loadbearing structure. There are plans proposed to fix the faults in the building.
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