Rodina opened not in a separate building, but on the first floor of a residential one because of shortage of housing, as the social and cultural life was not of the first importance. Despite that, the cinema turned out to be elegant, with two halls – red and blue – designed for 441 spectators. It immediately became popular – tickets were sold out instantly.
The first session took place there on October 16, 1953, and the first picture was The Star based on the story of Emmanuil Kazakevich.
On June 1, 1957, a second cinema, Pobeda, opened on Komsomolskaya square. It was also located on the first floor of the new Stalin-era building on Leninsky prospect, 11. The opening of another cinema just four years after the first one was explained by the lack of entertainments. The Norilsk residents complained that Rodina was not enough for the entire Gorstroy (a new part of Norilsk), that it was impossible to get tickets for the evening show. This is how another cinematograph for 400 seats with blue and green halls appeared in a neighboring house.
The third cultural center on Komsomolskaya square was a wide-screen cinema in its own luxurious, detached building. Its first films were season premieres: Kochubey with a famous actor Nikolay Rybnikov in the lower wide-screen hall and the three-part Virgin Soil Upturned in the upper hall with a conventional screen.
The 1200-seat cinema was put into trial operation on May 5, 1960. It is interesting that at first, the cinema under construction was called Mir, but before the opening, everything was outplayed: in honor of the 90th anniversary of the revolution leader it got the name of Lenin.
After three cinemas began operating simultaneously on Komsomolskaya square in Norilsk, one of them decided to change the viewer: Pobeda became the Pioner children’s cinema. However, having worked in this status for only five years, the cinema was closed completely, and since then the gymnasiums of the sports school have been located in the building.
In the new time, the Norilsk Museum was located in the building of the Lenin cinema, and only Rodina continues to demonstrate the mystery of cinema to Norilsk residents.
For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive