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“Grand casino”

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Address: 29 Suvorov Ave.
Date of construction: beginning of the 19th century

This former casino building was built at the expense of Izmail merchants in the early nineteenth century.

There are no more accurate data on the construction of casino in Izmail. The building is not listed in official registry papers, nor in the registers of monuments of local, regional and national significance, although previously it was listed there. However, definitely, it was the most luxurious building in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

In this regard, it should be appropriate to refer to the plaque placed on this building about the visit of Alexander Pushkin to Izmail in 1821, during that time he visited casino also. It is not known whether this building was already built by then, because there was another casino located on Svyato-Nikolaevskaya Str.

Token casino in Izmail. 1930s

In the 20s of the last century and later the cultural life of the city was associated with the activities of two halls. One of those was the hall of the commercial Grand Casino.

In addition, the exchange also worked in the building, which simplified the conduct of trade and assumed obligations to set prices for products. 22 business rooms worked here for concluding deals.

The heyday of the building fell on the Romanian period of history – in 1924 a cinema was already operating in the building, and on February 6, 1927, the Ministry of Cults, Education and Arts of Romania officially approved its placement in the Grand Casino cinema. For this a joint-stock company was created on shares, the director of which was an officer of the tsar’s army Vladimir Isidor Hessen, who worked in this position until April 1938. The cinema was quite spacious – 266 seats, and later expanded to 300 seats.

Here, in the prototype of the current shopping malls in the center was a club with a billiard room, a room for a card game; the restaurant on the right side was Dimchev (or Demchev), and on the left was the cinema of Hesse and Delaporte. Most of the halls were occupied by a stalls, there was a balcony with seats for spectators. So they watched movies, and when the artists performed, the chairs turned around, the balcony turned into a stage with a curtain.

Balls were held here, accompanied by a game of a military brass band, and the most eminent guests gave concerts. Many Izmail residents remember the performances of the golden voices of Alexander Vertinsky, Alla Bayanova, Petr Leshchenko. The latter came to Izmail more than once with his wife, dancer Zinaida Zakit, and, as a rule, performed to the accompaniment of his guitar and piano. The choirs that were famous at that time were Zharov and the Don Cossacks named after Ataman Platov, Alexander Vertinsky, sang Vintov-Vronsky, Tamara Duvan, Greek Heparis, Moscow opera singer (a native of Izmail) Olympia Grozovskaya, pop singer, first performer of the song “Kupite bublichki” Iza Kremer, Soborshchikova-Samarina. Moscow Art Theater also visited his building. The performances of the local ensemble “Merry Unemployed” were popular, which included violinists Tsoli and Izi Burdina, Dmitry Gavrilov, Boris Petka-Vulpe (viola), cello – Georges Mizikevich, piano – Jacob Leventon, accordion – Maxim Glushchenko, guitar – Peter Volkanov, vocals – Vasily Stase.


On July 19, 1941, the building was blown up by retreating Soviet troops, after which only the external walls remained.

Three years after the war the building was restored for the “Pobeda” movie theater with 429 seats, which showed up to 7 sessions a day and 3 films a week. It is worth noting that the screen in this cinema was already located on the opposite side compared to its predecessor. The name “Pobeda” (eng. – win) was given even before the onset of the victory itself over Nazi Germany.

On December 1, 1944, the destroyed building was assigned to the regional cinema department by the decision of the Izmail City Executive Committee.

In 2011, the building was sold and it was assumed that a 4-storey complex with a car dealership, a computer library and a number of other cultural institutions would be built on the site of the purchased territory. However, since then, the new owner only surrounded the building with a false wall. It slowly collapses.

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