OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

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Movie theatre "Senasis trestas" [The Old Trust]


Elena: "While drinking my morning tea, I read an article about the old Kaunas movie theatres:" It's incredible, but today in Kaunas, out of almost 40 old movie theatres, only one had survived and is still operating.

*Elena:* "While drinking my morning tea, I read an article[https://www.lrytas.lt/kultura/istorija/2017/07/29/news/i-kino-teatra-ne-filmu-o-mesos-ar-teisingumo-paiesku-2075561/] about the old Kaunas movie theatres:" It's incredible, but today in Kaunas, out of almost 40 old movie theatres, only one had survived and is still operating. The rest became ghosts or a place where other activities are being developed. " As I‘ve read those words, an old story came to my mind. I couldn't wait to finish reading and find out what was that small and cozy movie theatre; I was lucky enough to go there once (when I came back, after a while, I didn't find the movie theatre there - there was a court instead). Apparently, the theatre was demolished in 2006, and the court got established here due to its strategically convenient location. Definitely, A. Mickevičiaus Street is in the very heart of the city, and all the important institutions are easily accessible: on the other side of the road - Kaunas interrogation isolator, next to it: Kaunas University of Medicine, where I have studied as well. I remember while looking through a window in a pharmacology laboratory, you could observe isolator‘s post office operations: through a slatted window of the third floor, a rolled paper note tied to a string – slowly moving down, until it finally reaches the window of the second floor. Someone’s hand grabs the note and a few minutes later - ties the answer, pulls the string for a few times, and the message starts traveling up. All-day long: up and down, up and down... And that story about the movie theatre goes like this. Back in 2006, “Vilnius Ghetto“ was released. Since the movie was created by a Lithuanian film studio, and I am really interested in this historical topic, I‘ve decided to go. As I‘ve read in a poster - the film had to be screened in a movie theatre near the university - it so convenient going there after the lecture. I remember it was warm and green. An evening. I took a bus going down the Parodos hill road, got off on Kęstučio Street, turned to Mickevičiaus Street, as I‘ve passed the interrogation isolator - went inside the university. So silent in there. The lecture was canceled. I‘ve crossed the road, bought a ticket, and entered a small, cozy auditorium. It was empty - I could sit wherever I wanted. I chose to sit in the middle of the sixth row. I remember thinking, that I’d never watched a movie being the only visitor in an empty movie theatre. I was ready to enjoy the moment, while a guy came in unexpectedly, a moment later - a girl. That ‘s OK, I thought, they should sit in the last row. They stood next to the entrance. The guy viewed over the auditorium, a moment after – he did hurry to take a seat ... next to me ... in an empty auditorium. I was so surprised, I didn’t say anything, I just smiled with my eyes, while looking at the screen. The girl approached and quietly sat next to him.

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1985

A yard in Dainava district


Portraits of friends (1985) captured in the yards of Dainava microdistrict

Portraits of friends (1985) captured in the yards of Dainava microdistrict

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ger1
1988

Church of St. Gertrude


Gintaras Vitulskis: The first victory.

*Gintaras Vitulskis: *The first victory. At the end of the 20th century, St. Gertrude's Gothic church became endangered. Not only was it turned into a warehouse, but there was also an idea to put it into a bag, so to speak: to build a multi-storey building in J. Gruodžio Street. In 1988, rapid construction of a building intended for the use of K. Požėla District Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania was started. It was supposed to appear in the lot next to the cemetery adjacent to the church and dating back to the 15th–18th centuries. The intention was to throw away the bones, and the church had to be quietly demolished. But the openness was the new trend (Gorbachev's glasnost) and the civic self-awareness of the residents of Kaunas awakened in time to prevent this. After a long fight, the victory has been achieved: the construction was stopped, and the building was demolished. In a picture captured in October 1989, we can see the Church of St. Gertrude and the end of demolition of the said building. The third photo was taken in September 2014. (2014)

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Lions of the War Museum


Jonas: “At the beginning of July 1962 and after graduating the 1st High School of Ukmergė (now the High School of Jonas Basanavičius), My classmate Vytautas Juknys and I, Jonas Navikas, arrived at Kaunas for the first time (!).

*Jonas*: “At the beginning of July 1962 and after graduating the 1st High School of Ukmergė (now the High School of Jonas Basanavičius), My classmate Vytautas Juknys and I, Jonas Navikas, arrived at Kaunas for the first time (!). After submitting our documents to the graduate admissions committee at the Central Office of Kaunas Polytechnic Institute (KPI) to enroll in the programme of radio engineering at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, we reached a beautifully-shaped building on the other side of K. Donelaičio Street, which was then the History Museum. After looking around for some time, we noticed that individuals or groups usually take photos next to the lions. Having a photo camera at our disposal, we took photos of one another unaware of the fact that this place symbolizes the city of Kaunas. After coming back from Kaunas, you could show it with pride as a proof that you have visited Kaunas... These were the hot topics back then, when television was only making its first steps in Lithuania, and sightseeing tours were popular among both adults and school students. It is difficult to compare with contemporary technologies that have entered our daily lives...

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Karo muziejuje 1 1
1921 / 1936

Museum of War


Alvydas Vaitkevičius: I cannot stop myself from sharing certain interesting pages with the memories about our old War Museum.

*Alvydas Vaitkevičius: *I cannot stop myself from sharing certain interesting pages with the memories about our old War Museum. I found this with my family in a wonderful book by Jonas Dovydaitis “Žmogaus sparnai” (1971) dedicated to the birth and development of Lithuanian aviation and to the famous aviation designer Bronius Oškinis. These are his first impressions about visiting the War Museum provided in these pages.

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Arteritorija vidus spalvota
 

What place is this?


Riddle for our website visitors:What place is this?

*Riddle for our website visitors:*

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06 man puts political drawings kl
 

Kaunas Castle Bus Stop during the Soviet times


Liucija: I arrived from the sea coast to study in Vilnius.

*Liucija: *I arrived from the sea coast to study in Vilnius. During the last year, I married a guy from Domeikava. So, Kaunas Castle has become a stop in between Vilnius and Domeikava. And later, between my home and the workplace. Those were deep and poor Soviet times. The bus would leave every our, so if you were late at least for a couple of minutes, you had to wait for the next one to come for another hour. There were no shops around back in those days. So, in winter, you had to stand in the cold tortured by the wind. I sometimes see the same faces from those times, from the bus, but I don't feel any nostalgia for that place. It reminds me of dark times and distress. (2015)* *

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Nauja Romuva
1993

Romuva cinema


Vitalijus: I remember Romuva from my childhood.

*Vitalijus: *I remember Romuva from my childhood. A very long time ago, when my brother and I were little, we saw Phantomas here. Behind the cinema, there was an ice-rink, and we would go there to have fun with other children. Cinema was not an expensive entertainment option back then. It would cost 10 kopeks for children, and evening screenings, the most popular ones, would cost 70 kopeks. The room was divided into areas: more expensive in the front and less expensive in the back.

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unnamed34
 

The Zoo


Kęstutis: "We were living at Gričiupio Street, where the current KTU student campus is located.

*Kęstutis*: "We were living at Gričiupio Street, where the current KTU student campus is located. Previously, it was a village on the outskirts of the city, however now it is almost the city centre. It was an international neighbourhood. My best friends were German-born children. Also, there lived many Russians and some Poles. Of course, there were Lithuanians, too. There was a zoo nearby, around 300–400 meters away. It was very interesting to go there through the fence, of course, without a ticket. Once, together with my friends, among whom I was the youngest, we decided to hunt ducks with bows at the zoo. I was waiting on the hill while my friends were at the bottom. They returned very quickly because someone was chasing them. We came back home without our bows. Probably I was very scared because even today I remember that fear."

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1
1949

Miesto sodas (City Garden)


Lili Kristina Vaičekauskaitė-Čepauskienė (2014): We would often play in Miesto Sodas.

*Lili Kristina Vaičekauskaitė-Čepauskienė (2014): *We would often play in Miesto Sodas. There used to be a toy shop Du Gaideliai, where Miesto Sodas restaurant is currently located.

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5a
1989

Garden reconstruction of war museum


kki ledo ciuozykla
1956 / 1961

Ice-rink in Žaliakalnis


The ice rink in front of the State Institute of Physical Education was a favourite place for the youth of Žaliakalnis

The ice rink in front of the State Institute of Physical Education was a favourite place for the youth of Žaliakalnis

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All memories

SITES OF MEMORY

1 Projects 114 12 Routes
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Our memory is framed by spatial reference points: places, sites, buildings, and streets give us our bearings and enable us to anchor and order our memories. So, the material alteration of these places can lead to the substantial modification of our memories, and even their disappearance.
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