Moscow cinema is one of the gems of Yerevan. It was constructed in 1937 by Tiran Yerkanyan and Gevorg Khochar. The construction of this building might be one of the dramatic events in Yerevan’s history, because the new building appeared on the spot of a medieval church demolished by the Soviet authorities. In my opinion, the new building that came to replace the church of Saint Peter and Paul was supposed to become a kind of a new “church” to spread the new religion, communism, through movies.
I like this cinema, especially in July, when it houses the international film festival “Golden Apricot”. Sometimes, you can watch movies in the summer hall of the cinema house. The summer hall is one of the most prominent buildings of Soviet modernism that revived functionalist architecture. It was built using monolithic concrete and the material of construction wasn’t concealed. It was an innovative method in those years.
Nevertheless, the fact that this building is an important heritage of Soviet Modernism has not stopped the Armenian authorities to plan its demolition. In 2010 it was decided that it should be destroyed and that the church of St. Paul and Peter should be reconstructed in its place, yet not a single stone from the old demolished church remains. Luckily, the signature campaign organized to save the building managed to stop this process. So I hope that authorities will not dare touch the building any more. Don’t awake the big metal spider located on its courtyard, gentlemen.