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Built under the name “Kino Moskva” (Cinema Moscow) in the 1970’s, Kino Ladvi has a rich and interesting history. In communist Czechoslovakia it represented a major attraction, as two screen duplexes didn’t exist there.
The building was located into the middle of the housing estate, was the work of architect Jiri Kulistak and the core of the building was an auditorium for 500 spectators of an amphitheatrical shape, designed for projection of 70mm films. On the elevated second floor a much smaller auditorium was placed.
After the fall of communism, the theater became an asset of The Prague Film Company, who closed the cinema after a slump in demand due to the start of broadcasting of the private TV Nova in 1994. For the first time Czech spectators were flooded with mass-production from Hollywood for free. Its role was also played by the rapidly declining purchasing power of the population due to high inflation.
The next chapter of the building began in 1998, when it was privatized. Broadway Film, the new owner, started to screen movies again and introduced the highest quality sound system DTS for the first time in Czech Republic.
In 1999 the Slovak company Intersonic Entertainment took over the business. Also its effort was the technological dominance, which was manifested in the installation of the eight-channel Sony Dynamic Digital Sound in the larger auditorium. Besides that Intersonic rebuilt the theater in 2000 from a duplex to a six screen miniplex. The conversion was carried out in full operation. The theater was completely closed only for two months. The inauguration after the reconstruction was on 26th April 2001. Kino Ladvi became Multikino Ladvi.
Despite the huge effort, the four smaller halls had compared to modern multiplex auditoriums big disadvantages. They were small (51 to 70 seats), had no stadium seating and the dimensions of screens were very limited.
Since October 2002, one of the smaller halls was dedicated to arthouse and independent productions. After the theater Village Cinemas Andel (currently Cinestar Andel) it was the second screen in a multi-screen cinema in the Czech Republic, which was dedicated to this type of film.
However, that year also a great challenge had to come. In October a new multiplex Palace Cinemas Letnany (currently Cinema City Letnany) opened. The shopping centre, in which the multiplex is placed, is currently the largest in the Czech Republic. The rentable area for stores is 125,000 square meters.
Multikino Ladvi gained a huge competitive advantage in 2004, when near to the building a metro station was opened (line C). Its disadvantages – mainly the lack of own parking spaces and the fact that it is not part of a shopping center.
The initial plans spoke about an annex building, which would include four additional auditoriums and a fast food restaurant, as well as about a certification of THX theater sound. However, the digitization of cinemas in the last years has caused the exact opposite.
The first installation of a digital projector in the theater took place in January 2009. But it was only temporary. It included a 2K projector Christie CP2000-X and the 3D-system from Dolby Labs. First digital screened movie was “Fly Me to the Moon 3D”. A permanent installation of a digital projector in the large hall took place in August 2009 and consisted of Christie CP2000-X projector, a Dolby 3D-system and a Doremi DCP 2000 cinema server. It was the 28th digital movie screen in the Czech Republic.
The second largest screen had to wait pretty long for its digitalization. In October 2012 the 145-seat-auditorium got a NEC NC1200C digital projector with a GDC SX-2001A cinema server. A 3D-system was not installed. However, in June 2012, the four smaller halls were closed and not digitalized. The name was changed into Kino Ladvi. The Czech Union of Film Distributors promptly responded and struck Multikino Ladvi from the list of multi-screen cinemas. The number of its visitors no longer participates in the share of multi-screen cinemas in Czech Republic.
Ticket prices in the theater are among the lowest in Prague. Basic ticket costs 150 Czech crowns (about $ 7.75). That is 17 percent cheaper than the most premiere cinemas in Prague. According to the available information, in the first decade Multikino Ladvi had traffic of more than 100,000 viewers per year. In 2011, however, the attendance fell below this threshold.
It is difficult to predict the future of this theater. On the one hand, it seeks to digitalize and to have a broad dramaturgy; on the other hand, structural interventions into the existing building can not be expected. Only those would make the four smaller halls competitive.
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