Russian State Circuses to Screen Homegrown Kids, "Patriotic" Movies

Vladimir Kozlov
The circus in the Russian city of Ryazan

Over 40 circuses will show films in 2016, the country's "year of cinema."

Russia has unveiled a plan to screen movies in state-run circuses to promote homegrown films.

All 41 circuses run by state company Rosgostsirk will be equipped for film screenings next year, which has been dubbed the country's year of cinema, the culture ministry announced.

"We are not going to compete with other venues. We will take our own niche," Vadim Gagloyev, Rosgostsirk's head, was quoted as saying by Russian daily newspaper Izvestia. "We won't screen foreign movies. We will screen only Russian movies, primarily children's and patriotic [movies]."

"The problem is that the government hardly owns any movie theaters today, and we could be helpful in screening local movies," he said, explaining how the company could fit into the local cinema infrastructure. "Rosgostsirk could be a good venue for promoting local fare. We could organize a movie's premiere at all our circuses simultaneously."

The culture ministry said it would foot the circuses' bills for projecting equipment, but it wouldn't reveal financial details.

Screenings are to take place three days a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, to not interfere with circus rehearsals and performances.

According to Gagloyev, prices for screenings are set to be "affordable." He didn't provide pricing details. He added that some local producers have already expressed interest in their movies being screened in circuses.

A network of circuses was built all over Russia's bigger cities in the 1960s and 1970s. Most of the circus buildings, rather than tents, are advantageously located in city centers, with a capacity of several thousand people.