Armenian summers tend to be long, hot and dry, with good weather starting in March and lasting until the end of October. When the sun goes down, and cooler winds sweep through the city, there’s nothing better than watching movies with friends outside.
The open-air theatre behind the Moscow Cinema was controversial from the start. The Soviets, which had been involved in imposing their policy of state secularism, were looking for an excuse to destroy the 5th century Saint Paul and Peter Church. This constructivist-style open-air cinema hall would prove to be the perfect replacement.
Ironically, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Armenian Church wished to reclaim the land occupied by the amphitheatre to rebuild the historic church, they were met by staunch opposition by civic-minded Yerevantsis. This dispute was remembered as a symbol of Yerevan’s denizens stand against continued encroachment on public space.
The amphitheatre remains operational to this day and hosts a number of screenings during the annual Yerevan Golden Apricot International Film Festival.
Soviet ruin-porn enthusiasts can access the building throughout the year, but the best time to be there is during the summer. The open-air cinema is right down town, so it’s really fun to go out for beers in one of the many nearby cafés with friends after catching a flick.
Its screening schedule changes a lot but movies are usually listed on Cinema Moscow’s website.