Result by query: Regions - Kaunas | Epochs - Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Interwar
Cinema theater "Romuva" (Survived, k.k.v.r. 32115) (0)
Address: Kauno m. sav., Kauno m., Laisvės al. 54
Architecture type: Professional
Architects: Nikolajus Mačiulskis
Styles: Art Deco, Funkcionalizmas/modernizmas
Year: 1938 - 1940
Region: Kaunas
Epochs: Interwar
Architecture categories: Architecture, Separate building, Culture/Sport/Leisure, Cinema
Materials: Masonry (brick), Ferroconcrete
Images: 21
Publications: 0
Consist of 0 object(s)
Tags: Art Deco, Cinema, Cinema theater "Romuva" in Kaunas, Nikolojus Mačiulskis
: Cinema theater "Romuva" in Kaunas

The building for a cinema theatre in Laisvės avenue first came into being in 1940 only, right before Lithuania lost its independence. Before that, two wooden buildings, one- and two-storied, and warehouses were situated in the yard of the land plot that belonged to Gechtmann family; a brick building was facing the street. It was concluded in 1924 that the state of the objects was especially poor, and therefore they should be demolished. It was written in 1928 that the said buildings "are in such a state that they pose fire threat and they need to be demolished immediately, or otherwise it may lead to a terrible catastrophe". However, on 20 April 1929 the buildings still stood as they were, and the commission again concluded on their state of emergency: "they are in a state of collapse and pose the threat of fire because a number of wooden beams rest on furnaces". There was also a "brick one-storey building with mezzanine in the yard".

In 1930, two brick buildings were mentioned, whereas in 1932 the land plot already belonged to Ipas family. In 1935, a project of one-storey brick warehouse with a garage was prepared. An approval for the construction of a concrete fence was issued the same year, which, as we can see in the project, was designed as an architecturally expressive city element. The technician J. Gastila is the author of both projects.

As illustrated by the situational plan, there were two brick buildings and one wooden building, as well as several wooden warehouses in the land plot in 1937. Apparently, a brick warehouse with a garage was not built; wooden warehouses to be demolished were still marked on the site projected for construction. In 1938, Antanas Steikūnas and Petras Steikūnas bought the land plot, and on 29 December 1938 they submitted an application to Kaunas City Construction Commission for the construction of a cinema theatre. The estimated construction price was 200,000 litas. On 3 February 1939, a permit for the construction of a 687-seat cinema theatre was issued, and the cinema theatre was already built on 13 April 1940.

The layout structure of the building is dominated by slightly rounded shapes, which remind of the streamline aesthetics characteristic of the US cinema theatres at that time; nevertheless, there are certain hints to historical architecture in the interior (e.g. cornice). The modernity and contemporary trend of the building are even more highlighted by a turret underlining the glazed entrance, which had become one of the symbols of interwar architecture. A decorative entrance solution slightly reminds of the quests of the "national style" typical of the interwar period. However, the urban solution of the object was probably most important to the city. When the cinema building was retracted to the depth of the land plot, a small and cosy public space enlivening a perimeter distribution of buildings along Laisvės avenue in Kaunas was formed. It is interesting that the basement space was designed to accommodate the apartment for a security guard, thus reflecting the interwar tradition to design residential premises in public buildings. The first floor was adjusted to administrative and technical premises.

Vaidas Petrulis