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Romania's Movie Theatres

an architectural and social history


A few numbers :
A few numbers :

1906 – Kingdom of Romania 1 permanent movie theater at Iasi


A few numbers :

1906 – Kingdom of Romania 1 permanent movie theater at Iasi

1990 – After the fall of communism approx. 450 movie theaters


A few numbers :

1906 – Kingdom of Romania 1 permanent movie theater at Iasi

1990 – After the fall of communism approx. 450 movie theaters

2010 – 20 years after - Capitalist Romania 68 movie theaters


A few numbers :

1906 – Kingdom of Romania 1 permanent movie theater at Iasi

1990 – After the fall of communism approx. 450 movie theaters

2010 – 20 years after - Capitalist Romania 68 movie theaters

2015 – Today 82 movie theaters


A few more numbers :

2010 – Romania – 0,89 screens / 100.000 inhabitants

2010 – Bulgaria – 1,85 screens / 100.000 inhabitants

2010 – Croatia – 2,66 screens / 100.000 inhabitants

2010 – Hungary – 3,94 screens / 100.000 inhabitants

Data taken from National Centre of Cinematography Annual


Statistics and from www.salvatimareleecran.ro
A bit of history :

Grosso modo in 90 years, in Romania, 450 cinemas were built.

(I have indentified about 230 on Google Maps and Google Streetview)


A bit of recent history :

In the next 20 years, 380 movie theaters were closed, some of them were abandoned and the
rest of them were sold and transformed into :

casinos, bowling rooms, discos, bars, supermarkets or even prayer rooms.


Prezentul
Trecutul
Trecutul
Meanwhile at the outskirts of big cities :

During the last 20 years, practically all the new movie theaters built in Romania, were part of
commercial centers and malls.

They contributed to the decay of the traditional urban movie theaters by better satifing the
appetite for a consumerist way of life.
Romania's Movie Theatres
an architectural and social history

Seems to be a complex history, influenced by:

- technical evolutions
- architectural styles succession
- social and tastes changes
- politics
- internet, piracy
- etc.
Romania's Movie Theatres
an architectural and social history

The evident decay of the urban cinema made myself to rise a few questions:

- In this context of mall culture and large scale piracy, how can an urban cinema remain alive ?

- How can it get cost/effective and become attractive for the public ?

- Does it need to incorporate other functions to do that ?