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Cinema the World

Vladimír Štafa

history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1912 | construction
Catholic society Sušil began with theatre productions in the present building of the cinema the World. Probably in 1912,  the society purchased the building N. 2/77 from František  Pokorný, so called  Hotel Pokorný, located on one of the Holešov’s square. The building was renamed   Society House Hotel Central, the new owner at the same time submitted a request for a renovation and modification of the space.
(detail)25.10.1913 | opening

The ceremonial opening and blessing of the Sušil Society house in Holešov occurred in the weekend days on 25th and 26th October, 1913. A rich two days programme was initiated by evening theatre performance Quo Vadis – In the Sign of the Cross.


(detail)30. 's 20. century | renovation

The Sušil Society initiated closely not specified renovation works in the middle of the 1930s.


(detail)60. 's 20. century | Project documentation

Project documentation Renovation of the entrance of the cinema World is dated back to September 1964, the actual realization was not launched before 1967 – only in June of this year, Municipal National Committee in Holešov sent a letter recommending and demanding reconstruction  of the facade and insertion of the main entrance into the side of the building.


(detail)70. 's 20. century | Projects

Reconstruction of the Cinema World and its conversion for widescreen projection was being intensively discussed at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s. Two possible solutions were considered; a more radical one consisting of construction of a new cinema building and a moderate one being content with  reconstruction of the existing hall. Architect Vladimír Štafa designed the new building and its construction was planned to be executed in 1970–1972. The second considered alternative consisted of  reconstruction of the existing. Despite of realization, the following period was filled by hectic preparation of new designs oscillating between a new building and renovation of the existing building (hall).


(detail)1986 | Renovation

Oldřich Kostruha from County building Enterprise Kroměříž worked out the indispensable base documentation. The building had been handed over to renewed utilization in November 1986.


(detail)3.12.1988 | Fire

Fire burst out in the culture institution on the 3rd December of 1988. It was spreading from the defective wiring, from which wall panelling caught fire. The flames destroyed “ the inner furnishing of the cinema hall, projection cabins, plaster and paintings on the building were damaged, even the roof construction was partially damaged.“


(detail)1990 | Reopening

Renovation occurred in two stages. The first stage was solving repair of inner plaster, paintings and wiring – out of the main hall. The subsequent stage worked on the actual cinematographic room – on inner plaster, paintings, wiring, auditorium roofing. The operation was restored in the spring months, the dramaturgy chose the Polish film the Crusaders to be the inaugural production.


People

Vladimír Štafa |main architect
Oldřich Kostruh |architect

History

Tradition of staging  theatre plays and  various types of performances is dated back to a distant past in Holešov. Count František Antonín Rottal built a large hall in Holešov castle in 1733 being dedicated to drama productions. “Vivid musical and theatrical life (on the castle) was growing during his time.“1

Societies – so called cooperatives- were organizing and maintaining the cultural life of the city since the end of the 19th century. Theatrical section, actually company of amateur actors offering various types and genres of productions of fluctuating quality, rendition and scenery intensity, was the component of these institutions. Amateur actors performed within Sokol organization, Catholic association Sušil or Workers’ gymnastic Association, The Society of Working people Progress ( it was transformed into Workers gymnastic Cooperative) an so on. Holešov eyewitness Karel Rafaja stated in his memoirs that “ Before this centre was built [hotel Centrál], the cultural life (theatre, ball)  had been taking place in the first place at na Špici, where the association Catholic journeymen and St. Hostýn operated.“2The stage in Záhlenská inn replaced this hall as Fráňa Šrámek states.

Catholic society Sušil began with theatre productions in the present building of the cinema World. Probably in 1912,  the society purchased the building N. 2/77 from František  Pokorný, so called  Hotel Pokorný, located on one of the Holešov’s square. The building was renamed   Society House Hotel Central after the change of the owner, the new owner at the same time submitted the request for an adaptation and modification of the space. That was issued already in the same year; Karel Rafaja even stated that the existing house was torn down (therefore not only adapted). In any case, the society gained official approval for  hostelry and bar trade and using the theatre hall. The maximal number of visitors in the room was more or less 560, it should not surpass the number 200 on the gallery. The building activity did not ceased – a gym was built  in the hotel yard, according to the request from 1914, it should have served as a cinema hall after adaptations. It was not successful to push through this proposal.

Ceremonial opening and blessing of the Sušil Society house in Holešov occurred in the weekend days on 25th and 26th October, 1913. A rich two days programme was initiated by evening theatre performance Quo Vadis – In the Sign of the Crosswith an excellent, newly obtained stage setting” complemented with “historical costumes from the Roman period” with the band of František Vyhlídal performing. The Sunday began very early in the morning – “ by welcoming of new societies and guests3 –, followed by a procession to the church, then by a ceremonial preaching, pontifical mass, blessing, meeting, this all concluded by joint dinner. The spectators had a chance to watch a play Quo Vadis again in the afternoon. A concert took place in the evening and the entertainment culminated with a dancing ball. The name Hotel Centrál was changed after 1948 into Cinema World. The structure has been carrying this name up to the present day. 4

Not only the actual theatre (cinematographic) hall has been modified in the course of the past several decades, but  functional utilization and naturally the appearance and division of the building as well.

In the first years after the opening, the hotel hosted “ lectures, balls and students activities apart theatre […]. The hall was round with a gallery along its entire circumference.“5 The spatial layout was reversed against the present one – the stage was located in the area of the present dressing room and the last rows of seats reached into the location of the present stage. The exit, narrow and insufficient for the entire space was by the left side of the stage.

At that time very popular cinematographic productions became an inseparable component of  the programme composition since the end of the 1920s. “First production in Central was a movie with a theme of the life and death of Jesus Christ ‘The King of Kings’ in  September 1929. It was partially an acoustic movie.“6

Apart mentioned cultural social, respectively educational actions, the space was offered for commercial utilization as well since the 1920s up to the 1940s. There were for instance a florist's shop, bakery, commercial room, shoe-repair shop of Baťa enterprise (later Svedrup)in the complex being comprised of hotel facility and adjacent yard wings and structures around the yard. Saving and Credit Union Association in Holešov established its office here, a restaurant facility was operating in the ground floor of the main building, flats were established in the storey of the yard wing, a square gym with an adjacent cloak room was not absent.

 

SušilSociety initiated closely not specified adaptation works in the middle of the 1930s. The culture hall of Central served as lodging for the fugitives from the Sudetenland in after Munich period, on the contrary, German soldiers were using it in March 1939. Air heating and ventilation system were installed in the same period in the hall, restaurant and other rooms, the  cash desk was enlarged in the mezzanine.

The Czechoslovakian state nationalized the building after the Second World War, the management was executed by Municipal National Committee Holešov.

The purpose of the complex was complemented in the 1960s by apprentice centre of Czechoslovakian automobile repairs, national Enterprise Brno (ČSAO). Adaptation of newly unveiled side facade fell upon the second half of this decade. An one storey building was originally adjacent to the cinema from the east side, it was “ torn down at that time7 , because of enlargement of the land road Přerov–Zlín. An unsightly lateral wall of the cinema was left unveiled after the demolition. Its utilization for perforating of a main entrance to the building was considered. “ Proposed adaptation and extension would remove the existing unattractive gable wall in the first place […]. Executed modification of the main entrance would allow emergence of rooms from the unused corridor and they could be used for establishing of a waiting or smoking room, respectively cloakrooms and also a cash desk or buffet could be accommodated here.“8

Project documentation Adaptation of the entrance of the cinema World is dated back to September 1964, the actual realization was not launched before 1967 – only in June of this year, Municipal National Committee in Holešov sent a letter recommending and demanding adaptation of the facade and insertion of the main entrance into the side of the building. Reconstruction of the Cinema World and its adaptation for widescreen projection was being intensively discussed at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s. The building was not convenient by its articulation, interior arrangement nor its technical equipment. Two possible solutions were considered; a more radical one consisting of construction of a new cinema building and a moderate one being content with  reconstruction of the existing hall.

Architect Vladimír Štafa designed the new building being located into the extension on the yard, at that time still built up area on the plot behind the cinema. “ The stage and operational rooms are inconvenient in the aspect of acoustics, good visibility, there are problems with heating of the auditorium of inconvenient circle plan. The actual environment of the present cinema is not cosy and does not correspond to the present stage of culture and technology at all.” Eventual repair  and adaptation  of the building would have been unreasonably expensive, the author therefore prefers  construction of a new cinema.” From a town planning point of view, the new cinema should be located in the free area between the former hotel Centrál and present cinema the World.“9 The construction was planned to be executed in 1970–1972.

The second considered alternative that was preferred by joint culture and building committee of Municipal National Committee consisted of  reconstruction of the existing building, especially in regard to “ complete lack of building capacities by building organizations10. The committee preferred the design under letter D (there were for designs in total) that projected modified capacity (newly for 270 visitors) and removal of the inconvenient balcony. Despite of realization, the following period was filled by hectic preparation of new designs oscillating between a new building and adaptation of the existing building (hall). It was reasoned again with shortcomings of the rooms -  “ a flat auditorium, local heating, bad acoustic condition, projection only in a classic format11 that naturally claimed for removal and modification.

Only a gable wall of the cinema underwent building intervention in the end. In 1975, by the occasion of the 700th  anniversary of the city, it was newly plastered and decorated by large city crest with an inscription „1272 * 1972. 700 years of  Holešov city“.

The situation on the turn of the 1970s and 1980s is relatively unclear. There has been stored a huge number of documents permitting, respectively elaborating the reconstruction and related modernization of the projection hall in the archive of the Municipal office in Holešov; the new construction had not been mentioned anymore in this period, actual was the modification of the existing structure. Innovated space should have acquired equipment “ as for projection of classical as well as wide screen movies including another supporting technique, STEREO sound12 and  theatre technology. Repair of yard wings was considered, however, “due to the lack of financial funds, the yard wings are going to remain in the existing state and in the care of users.“13

The actual “ design  task solves the form of inner rebuilding and reconstruction of the existing building of the Cinema the World, its modernization, establishment of operational rooms and social facilities that would correspond to the present operational and hygienic conditions and typological norms. The existing operation is completely inadequate, it is possible to determine the operational condition as a critical.“14 Oldřich Kostruha from County building Enterprise Kroměříž worked out the indispensable base documentation. Apparent financial limits led the investor to transfer the project to self helping “Z Action “– the construction proceeded in the form of “voluntary” work. The renovation began in 1984. After the building had been handed over to renewed utilization in November 1986, it was possible to state that “ the actual space of the cinema complies  with all the conditions of a modern facility, in which our citizens can find entertainment and enlightenment.“15   Innovated space offered an auditorium with an elevation, projection cabin, air conditioning, cash desk and entrance into the hall were adapted. The entrance part of the building underwent modification as well. A display window informing about the actual culture events in the city was inserted in the facade on the right side of the main entrance.

However, the reconstructed building had not served for a long time. Fire burst out in the culture institution on the 3rd December of 1988. It was spreading from the defective wiring, from which wall panelling caught fire. The flames destroyed “ the inner furnishing of the cinema hall, projection cabins, plaster and paintings on the building were damaged, even the roof construction was partially damaged.“16 Renovation occurred in two stages. The first stage was solving repair of inner plaster, paintings and wiring – out of the main hall. The subsequent stage worked on the actual cinematographic room – on inner plaster, paintings, wiring, auditorium roofing. The operation was restored in the spring months, the dramaturgy chose the Polish film the Crusaders to be the inaugural production. Modernization and innovation of the cinema building was being intensively discussed since the second half of the 1990s again, similarly as several times in the past. The Municipal Council in Holešov announced a public competition for study and project documentation of Culture Centre Holešov with the  aim of creating a multifunctional cultural centre in 1995. Utilization of the grounds (partially built up at that time) encircling the existing building was considered to be the most advantageous. Redevelopment should  have consumed the adjacent three storey house N.61, adjacent garage, trafo station and west lateral wing of the cinema. Adaptation and arrangement of the inner space of the cinema was a component of submitted designs. Several architectural ateliers, mostly from the close vicinity, participated on  the competition.

Because the investor did not acceded to any actual proceedings, architectural – volume study by design atelier PARITA plus inc. Žeranovice returned to the initial task of  renovation of the building. This designed enlargement of social and cultural functioning of the building with a ceremonial hall for instance. However, again without any result.

The list of unrealized designs is complemented to the third by design study from 2002 by Jana and Richard Turna. The authors among other designed the construction of two new short wings in the existing yard of the building, in which a ceremonial hall and multifunctional hall should have been located.

Present state

The Cinema the World with adjacent wings occupies a rectangular corner plot by crossroads of two distinct roads. The elevation, inserted into the terraced housing development opens to Palackého Street, the east elevation to Masaryk Street. It is delimited by the road from the rear, by a wall on the west being shared with the neighbouring house.

The actual complex is composed of the cinema building of irregular trapezoid plan and two lateral wings, adjoined onto rear elevation. An undeveloped yard came into existence between the west oblong extension and almost squared wing by Palackého Street.  

The main elevation has been arranged as a five bay. The exceeded middle part has a triple of large, moderately embedded surfaces in the ground floor. There were originally windows, presently walled up and serving as posters. Two storey, into an arch curved part is articulated by three window bays in three levels, mutually separated by moulded vertical bands. Windows, rectangular and square as well, are composed of six or three panes of glass. The bay is topped by a parapet, curved in an arch, ending with a distinctively protruding cornice.

The lateral surface on the right is broken by a rectangular entrance. Originally symmetric left entrance does not exist anymore – it was walled up similarly as windows in the central part and thus emerged field is used for advertisement purposes as well. The storey part of both the side parts is illuminated by a window in a profiled frame that is partitioned by smooth, horizontal moulding roughly in the middle. Lateral surfaces are closed by embossed crowning cornices.

The lateral sides of the structure were not the same because of the corner location. The left elevation of the building, originally partially covered by the adjacent neighbouring house, has remained almost smooth with minimal articulation. Only the ground floor was attached by an oblong, moderately protruding glass construction of the vestibule, roofed by a sturdy plate canopy with the distinct inscription KINO SVĚT. A relatively high shallow band was inserted between the entrance extension and front corner, from five equal square fields with showcases informing about the actual cultural events in the city. The resting surface is ornamented by a monumental inscription „1272 * 1972. 700 let města Holešov“, (1272 * 1972. 700 years of Holešov city), joint with representation of the city emblem.

The elevation of the actual cinema is adjacent to a short wall that connect it with the ground floor, saddle-backed, independently standing building. A yard came into existence between it and opposite oblong wing by the rear side of Cinema the World. The oblong annexe was articulated by window openings, an entrance in the direction to the yard of the ground floor and an entrance door in the rear in the storey, accessible with outdoor steep stairs. The west oblong was is shared by both the structures with the lateral building.

The smooth rear side of the cinema structure is broken by oblong and square windows inserted into five storeys.

It is possible to spot a polygonal spire, covered by sheet metal, articulated by circle windows, from a moderate distance from the main elevation by looking upwards. It is closed by slightly projecting cornice, decorated by a motif of waves.

The spectator enters the inner space through a side entrance that runs into a small, in form of a sector glassed entrance space. One flight of staircase ascends to other storeys from the adjacent large vestibule of the left side. A part of the ground floor on the right from the vestibule is occupied by a minor theatre hall, so called Black scene. The room of irregular plan serves as a music club (Drive club) at the same time. A club of pensioners works in the ground floor spaces for the seniors citizens.

The motion-picture theatre is to be found in the first floor. A large hall, divided by several stairs into two levels in altitude, opens on the left from the access staircase; a cloakroom was set up in the upper part. The auditorium is accessible by the entrance on the right for the spectators, the entrance in the left corner serves to the staff. The room of irregular polygonal plan tapers in the direction of the stage. The spectators take seats in the gently  sloping auditorium. Lateral balconies, with lateral side in the form of a carved arch, serve only to technical maintenance, alternatively to the theatre staff. The stage, with a front straight edge, is accessible by low stairs on the sides. The dark ceiling with a barrel vault is “supported” by a couple of opposite massive lengthwise formed fields with a lower edge curved in an arch. These fields do not encounter nor join –  free open surface of oblong, rounded shape emerged between their smoothly cambered, to the ceiling attached edges. Solely its central part has been articulated by shallow lights, composed of several circles. Absence of whichever decoration motives in the room is counterbalanced at least partially by plastically conceived paneling of the side walls.

Organization of theatre performances is being shifted from the building of Cinema the World to the renovated hall in Holešov castle recently.

Notes:

1   Pavel Kvasnička, Z minulosti Holešova, in: Metoděj Dobiáš – Pavel Štěpánek – Vladislav Zlámal (reds.), Holešov: Město a okres, Praha – Brno – Bratislava s. d. [1935], s. 9.

2   RS, Svědek sedmi desítek let kulturního dění, Holešovsko 18, 26. 10. 2000, s. 18.

3   Městský úřad v Holešově, Odbor územního plánování a stavebního řádu, sloha H 62 – kino. Spisová část do roku 1948, program Slavnostního otevření a posvěcení domu spolku Sušil v Holešově.

4   After the emergence of the Czechoslovakian state, the catholic association Sušil was transformed into gymnastic club Orel

5   RS, Svědek sedmi desítek let kulturního dění, Holešovsko 18, 26. 10. 2000, s. 18.

6   Karel Rafaja added to initial cinema production in hotel Centrál further: “acoustic movies were in distribution since 1931. The first coloured movie, the people had an occasion to see, was The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1936 or 1937), the Tarzan and others“ RS, Svědek sedmi desítek let kulturního dění, Holešovsko 18, 26. října 2000, p. 18.

7   Městský úřad v Holešově, Odbor územního plánování a stavebního řádu, MNV Holešov. Úprava vstupu do kina Svět, dopis Městského Národního výboru v Holešově, odbor výstavby, ze 14. 6. 1976.

8   Městský úřad v Holešově, Odbor územního plánování a stavebního řádu, MNV Holešov. Úprava vstupu do kina Svět, dopis Městského Národního výboru v Holešově, odbor výstavby, ze 14. 6. 1976.

9   Městský úřad v Holešově, Odbor územního plánování a stavebního řádu, Projektový úkol na výstavbu nového širokoúhlého kina pro 380 diváků v Holešově. Textová část projektové dokumentace, 1970, p. 5. The new building of T letter plan should have been adjacent to the existing building of the Cinema the World from the rear side. The side extensions should have receded to its volume.

10 Městský úřad v Holešově, Odbor územního plánování a stavebního řádu, sloha Kino „Svět“ Holešov. Stavební úprava pro ŠÚP, složka Městský národní výbor v Holešově. Výstavba nového širokoúhlého kina v Holešově u býv. hotelu Central , Návrh do schůze rady MěstNV v Holešově, která se koná 19. 10. 1970, ze 17. 10. 1970.

11 Městský úřad v Holešově, Odbor územního plánování a stavebního řádu, Výstavba kina. Projektová úloha. Výstavba kina pro 380 diváků s promítáním širokoúhlých a 70 mm filmů v Holešově.

12 Městský úřad v Holešově, Odbor územního plánování a stavebního řádu, Rekonstrukce kina Svět v Holešově. OO – souhrnná část (3. varianta), XII/1983, s. 4.

13 Ibidem. Dvorní trakty areálu kina sloužily v prvním nadzemním patře jako sklad a herny, ve druhém patře se nacházely byty.

14 Městský úřad v Holešově, Odbor územního plánování a stavebního řádu, sloha H 62 – kino. Spisová část, složka kino Svět. Korespondence, vyjádření k PÚ a JP, Mimořádná zpráva Okresního národního výboru v Kroměříži, odbor kultury, 24. 9. 1983, s. 3.

15 Vladimír Trnka, Nové kino „Svět“, Zpravodaj města Holešova, č. 4, 1986, s.2.

16 -BB-, K požáru kina Svět v Holešově, Kroměřížská jiskra XXXIX, 14. 12. 1988, s. 2.

Sources and literature:

– Státní okresní archiv Kroměříž

– Městský úřad v Holešově, Odbor územního plánování a stavebního řádu, archiv

– -BB-, K požáru kina Svět v Holešově, Kroměřížská jiskra XXXIX, 14. 12. 1988, s. 2

– Metoděj Dobiáš – Pavel Štěpánek – Vladislav Zlámal (reds.), Holešov: Město a okres, Praha – Brno – Bratislava s. d. [1935]

– RS, Svědek sedmi desítek let kulturního dění, Holešovsko 18, 26. 10. 2000, s. 18–19

– Vladimír Trnka, Nové kino „Svět“, Zpravodaj města Holešova, č. 4, 1986, s. 1–3 a 23

– Miluše Václavková, Z historie kin v Holešově, in Karel Tabery (ed.), Kinofikace Moravy, Olomouc 2004, s. 44–55

 

Tags: Austria-Hungary, Belle Époque, Fin de siècle, terraced house

 

Author: Kateřina Kohoutkova - Gabrhelíková

Translator: Jan Purkert

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