Strada Nicolaus Lenau 1,
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Architects: Mihai Dolliner
Previous Names: Cinema Scala, Cinema Thalia, Cinema Timpuri Noi
In Timisaora, in western Romania, a construction permit was issued on 10th September 1937, and the Cinema Scala opened in 1938. Designed by architect Mihai Dolliner, it was owned by entrepreneur Emil Gonda and has also been known (though precise dates are not known) as Cinema Thalia and, during the socialist period, Cinema Timpuri Noi (“New Times”), before gaining its current name, Cinema Studio.
Over the years, the cinema began to become rather rundown and it closed. Some years later, in June 2021, as part of a city council initiative to increase access to the arts, a major restoration started, at a cost of over 14m lei (around £2.4m). I visited the city in May 2023. According to a (very precise!) notice on the hoardings surrounding the building site, the work is due to be completed on 10th June 2024. That notice also contains an illustration showing what the ‘new’ Cinema Studio will look like.
Unlike its previous ‘mainstream’ incarnation, the restored Cinema Studio will offer an art-house programme within the Europa Cinemas network. There will be two screens, with 198 and 64 seats, with the smaller auditorium also being used for workshops and presentations. There will be offices for film education and production and, on the new roof, a bar with a terrace for about 80 customers. A retractable screen and a small stage will also be installed on the roof terrace.
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