Holandská 669/1, Prague 10
Prague Culture Hub
In 1902, the municipality of Vršovice donated a plot of land in the then “Městské sady” park (today, the Heroldovy sady park) to the local Sokol organisation. Three years later, the first ideas for the construction of the Vzlet (“Flight”) cinema appeared. The Sokol organisation decided to establish a cinema on the donated plot of land, the operation of which would finance the construction of a large Sokol gymnasium building on Vršovice Square. The cinema building, constructed in the Art Deco style by the architect Bohumil Hrabě, was first opened to the public in 1921.
The name of the cinema probably comes from the Sokol motto “The strength of a lion, the flight of a falcon” (in Czech: “Lví silou, vzletem sokolím”). The cinema started to operate in line with the principle and slogan: “the best programmes for the cheapest admission”. It offered mainly films with a physical education theme.
In 1948, the building was transferred to the administration of the Film Company of the Capital City of Prague, which used it as a warehouse for its film archive and offices. Unfortunately, the “Vzlet” cinema was no exception among the expropriated properties of the second half of the 20th century – gradually falling into disrepair until the building had to be completely closed for safety reasons. The first major reconstruction started in 1987, but the building remained unused again after 1989.
The story of the “Vzlet” cinema has a happy ending, or rather a new beginning: after a well-conceived reconstruction in 2021, 100 years after the cinema started its operations, the doors of the “Vzlet” cinema opened to artists from the fields of music and theatre, to films and visitors. The main hall still houses a listed projection screen from 1923.