1945 / 1998

Cinema in Šančiai

Gintaras Vitulskis: After the war, when the wooden cinema Lyra (Lyre) burned to the ground, and Taika (Peace) cinema theatre had not been built yet, the Methodist church was nationalized and turned into a cinema theatre. I remember watching Tarzan with Johnny Weissmuller as the lead in this very cinema. During the Soviet times, the cinema was turned into one of the weapons of propaganda, but we would still see some worldwide masterpieces created abroad like Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus with Kirk Douglas or Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor. The queues were massive.

Cinema Taika was based on a typical project: there was an exhibition space on the ground floor and buffet on the first one. After privatization, when the owners of the building changed, the cinema was demolished (1998). A similar cinema Tėvynė (Homeland) in Vilnius has avoided such destiny: it was turned into a musical club called New York Club. Now there is an empty lot in the place, where the cinema used to be, and it does not improve the sight of Šančiai centre. (2015)