For today’s citizen of Yerevan, it is difficult to imagine that once the church of Poghos-Petros stood on the site of the building of the cinema, there was a Russian church in place of the Russian drama theater named after Stanislavsky, and next to them, in place of today’s building of the Union of Artists there was a mosque.
Over time, the reconstruction of the city, and after the victory of Bolshevism, the “Cultural Revolution”, initiated the fine examples of Armenian architecture that developed over 16 centuries. Poghos-Petros church also belongs to them. In 1930 the church was demolished. On the site of the church of Poghos-Petros Yerevan cinema was erected, which was later called “Moscow”. The architects of the building were Tiran Yerkanyan and Gevorg Kochar. The building, after the erection, was subjected to various reconstructions: in the 1960s under the project of Gevorg Kochar and Telman Gevorgyan, in 1983 according to the project of architects: B. Arzumanyan, Z. Zakaryan, A. Israelyan, A. Melikyan. The facade of the building is decorated with bas-reliefs on the themes of famous Soviet films: “Chapaev”, “Pepo”, “David Beck”, “Sayat-Nova”, and plastic arts: “Dance” and “Scene”.
After the privatization of the building, it was closed for one year and reopened in September 2000. The fountain located next door was renovated and reopened in 2010.
In the Soviet years, the selection of films for the show was not in the competence of the management of the cinema. The Soviet Film Committee gave permission for the production of films and in what quantities should they be sent to the republics. There was also a republican film committee, where “repertoire management” worked, it planned the sequence of films shown in cinemas located on the territory of the republic. Today, the selection of films for the show in “Moscow” cinema is being made by the relevant staff of the management. The cinema cooperates with well-known companies such as: The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Dream Works, Universal Studios, Warner Wros, including the list of the best world films released. The list often changes, every Thursday there is a premiere of a foreign film, sometimes even several films at once instead of one. In addition to foreign films, films of Armenian cinematographers also appear on the screen, the number of which has increased in recent years. In addition, the viewer’s interest in local film production has increased.
Today, the cinema has four cinema halls: the Red Hall with 491 seats, the Blue Hall with 350 seats, Small Red Hall with 49 seats and Small Blue Hall with 35 seats. The cinema halls are equipped with modern technical means.
In parallel with the screening of films various events and film festivals are being held in “Moscow” cinema. Throughout the year, various festivals are being held at the cinema: the International Film Festival Golden Apricot, the Festival of British Films, the Roland Children and Youth Film Festival, the ReAnimation Festival of Animation Films, the International Festival of Documentary Films Apricot Tree, etc … Cooperating with the embassies of various countries in the Republic of Armenia, during the whole year, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, French, Italian, German, Russian and Greek film weeks took place. In parallel with the screening of films, various exhibitions are being organized in the foyer of the cinema.
Since December, 2014 the cinema has started to sell e-tickets, in 2015 screens of large cinema halls have been updated, a new trademark and corporate identity have been developed, and a new official website of the cinema has also been launched.
Keeping the history of decades and beautiful traditions, the cinema constantly develops technologically and is in search of innovations to be ready for modern challenges.