Alex Harford Photography & Travel


Abandoned Cinema

Although it's sad to see them, abandoned places are cool so I was quite excited when I saw this abandoned cinema in Mtskheta - forget the big 1000-year-old cathedral and the church that picturesquely overlooks the town!

Abandoned cinema viewed from Mtskheta's main squareMtskheta's abandoned cinema at night

What was particularly sad about this cinema/theatre, which was intended to double up as a concert hall, was that along with Mtskheta's museum it was right next to the main square and it seems to have closed recently. I don't know much about the building, but I think it was built in 1973 (which looks about right), and from this website it looks like it was re-opened in 2011 to become Mtskheta's first cinema in 20 years. I've seen photos of it in an abandoned state from 2011. Does anyone have any more info? With hindsight I would have tried to find out more about it while I was in Mtskheta, though I did only speak to 2 people who knew even a tiny bit of English.

There are some archaeological ruins covered by the cinema building, so it'd be interesting to know why they are so important too.

Information wasn't easy to come buy in Georgia - Mtsketa's Tourist Information was able to tell me what time the train (yes, the one train) departed for Gori, but to find out what time the train came back to Mtskheta from Gori they had to phone the Tourist Information in Gori (and even they took a while to find out).

Stage and screen Main entrance to the auditorium Can you see a ghostly figure in one of the seats?Seats inside the abandoned cinema Tiled mural and spiral staircase
Spiral staircase

Why did the cinema close? I'd guess there are a few reasons: Mtskheta is too small a town to support it, it's only 12 miles away from the competition of the capital city, Tbilisi, and Georgia's recent economic troubles won't have helped - though it does look like a country on the up. Perhaps an influx of tourists will help the cinema reopen one day.

SpooookyDusty cinema seats Rear of the cinema The ghost of a radiator Waiting area, with the archaeological ruins to the right Box office Inside the old box office Fire escape, archaeological ruins beneath and a ladder to the roof... Old billboard stand

Photos taken with the Canon Powershot G1 X compact camera.


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