The event opens one major theme, and the occasion is the old cinema Komsomol/Kosmos*.

The city council of Plovdiv recently voted the removal of the cinema building and its replacement by a multistory garage and a commercial-administrative building – may be the next Mall. This is happening in the very central part of Plovdiv, in immediate closeness to an old, once bourgeois residential neighborhood with narrow streets and emblematic architecture.

The building of the cinema itself is a valuable example of modern architecture. Cinema Komsomol was designed in 1960 by architect Liubomir Shinkov and arch. Liubomir Bonev and was completed in 1964. Although too large in comparison to the surrounding secesión or simply plain small houses the building still impresses with its proportionate volumes and specific details.

A few are the architectural details sealed in the mind of every Plovdivian; the curving staircase in the lobby, the pleated “origami” facade on one side followed by a glass wall opening a view to that beautiful staircase from outside. The emblematic value of the cinema is undeniable for the generations who remember the crowds of visitors at the square in front of the building.

Once the largest and the most modern cinema in Plovdiv with 900 seats amphitheater it was devoid of function in the mid 90′s. Nearly 15 years the cinema has been idle until the end of 2010, when the city council pronounced it completely unnecessary for the Plovdivians and their generations. The City council voted a change of purpose and status of the current property . A great cinema building was pronounced best to turn into a garage. From a public building with cultural purpose it became a private municipal property and a garage on paper.

Penka Popova and George Serbezov react to the last events and by invitation of artnewscafe and Open Arts Foundation put together a documental exposition while aiming to provoke a discussion and save the building in the very end. Everybody is welcome to join , support or discuss the matter.

The presentation on at artnewscafe will address questions which are extremely important and very much neglected in the public domain. What has been happening with the urban space of Plovdiv in recent years? What is our response to these changes ? What is our relationship with the places we inhabit? What are the priorities and official policies of the city and what future they draw? What happens when a parking space is more important than clean air and cultural activities? Who makes the decisions for us and why don’t we participate in the process? How many office buildings, shopping malls, food chains and garages are sufficient in a city like Plovdiv? What does the demolition of a building means for an entire neighborhood?

Bring and share with us your findings on cinema Komsomol/Kosmos !

On January 24, 2011 in artnewscafe, Plovdiv between 19:00 and 20:30 will be exposed the entire collection of documents, video, archival and new photos, all obtained during the “info excavations” at the archival center, the municipal institution and in the conversations with one of the authors of the building arch. Liubomir Shinkov as well as with other experts and architects. You will be able to look at the documented views and decisions of the authorities concerning the case. An audio file of the discussion at the session of the city council leading to the fatal decision will be available.

The exposition presenting old and new photographs, plans and other documentation will be on view every day from January 24th to February 28th in artnewscafe

*The name of the cinema was changed in the 90s to “Kosmos”

/ action, exposition, discussion
photographs, video, archival information, other documentation

Penka Popova and George Serbezov
24 January – 28 February
artnewscafe, Plovdiv

24 January (Monday) 2011, 19:00-20:30, artnewscafe, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

supported by Open Arts Foundation

/ Stop the demolition of cinema Komsomol / Kosmos!

/ Facebook – “Да спрем превръщането на кино Космос в 4 етажен гараж”

Plovdiv, 38 Otets Paisiy str.

Supported by Open Arts Foundation


Cinema Komsomol / video by Penka Popova / 2011