The City of Prague Museum

The Old Cinemas of Prague / The Fleeting Magic of Darkened Theatres

The Old Cinemas of Prague / The Fleeting Magic of Darkened Theatres

Main Building

6. 4. 2016 – 19. 3. 2017

The atmosphere of darkened cinemas with rows of squeaking wooden seats, in which latecomers are shown by a torch wielding usherette. A projection booth with projection apparatuses and film reels, which ordinary cinemagoers never saw. The first provisional projections by travelling cinema operators, the splendid modern cinemas of the First Czechoslovak Republic as well as the rather unrestrained1960s, and dozens of film posters appearing in the streets of Prague every week plus many other attributes of the Prague cinema phenomenon. All of this will be presented at the exhibition which will take place in two halls of the City of Prague Museum from April 2016 to February 2017.

The collection items on display – projection apparatuses from the early times and the golden age of cinematography, historical pictures, film posters, historical schedules and address books – will give the visitors an idea of how the film projections have changed over time. And also how the number and locations of cinema auditoriums, many times very peculiar and unique, changed from the early 20th century when they first emerged up to their replacement by the recently appearing multiplexes. The exhibition will feature a fully functioning cinema hall with historical wooden seats from which the visitors-spectators will have the opportunity to watch documentary films of Prague, both experimental and artistic, primarily those by Otakar Vávra: Světlo proniká tmou (Light Penetrates the Darkness, 1931) and Žijeme v Praze (We Live in Prague, 1934), and by Alexander Hackenschmied: Bezúčelná procházka (Aimless Walk, 1930). A model of the projection booth enabling the visitors to to peek inside the usually restricted areas of cinemas will be a part of this hall.

Photos from the opening


Photos from the exhibition

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