Soviet cinema as a state budget’s contributor. Distribution in the 1930s

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The idea of replacing revenues from alcohol sale with income from cinema attendance was put forward by L. Trotsky in Soviet Russia in the early 1920s. At the stage of transition from silent cinema to the sound one this idea received a significant number of supporters. Anyhow attendance statistics proved a considerable gap between alcohol profitability and yield, calculated on theatre booking. In order to heal the situation quite a number of new cinemas had to be built. Since the state did not have adequate resources at its disposal, it was decided to refurbish the churches into cinema theatres. As a result the two important aims were to be gained: efficient increase of attendance and effective antireligious propaganda. Achievements of Soviet cinema in the early 1930s supported the idea of cinema to triumph over alcohol. Iosif Stalin proclaimed the replacement of the income from vodka with income from cinema as an official party and state program: expanding industrial base of the Soviet cinema, making more films, increasing the film circulation, building more cinemas. I. Stalin’s idea was to be realized by the chairman of the GUKF B. Shumyatsky. Acquainted with American and European experience, he proposed a number of reforms in the film industry, the key to which was the creation of the Cinema city in the South of the country, the Soviet Hollywood. As a result, the Soviet film industry had to be increased 10 times. But the project of the Cinema city was not approved by the government. While B. Shumyatsky was working over this project, the assets of the Soviet cinema were actually put on the slide. As a result, the output of film production in Russia decreased significantly, not allowing to execute the annual plan. Thus the idea to replace vodka income into cinema one turned out unfulfilled.

About the authors

Marina Ivanovna Kosinova

State University of Management; VGIK; Institute of Art Studies (VGIK)

Author for correspondence.

PhD assistant professor, Department of Management in Culture, Cinema, Television and Show business; assistant professor, Department of Producing; senior researcher, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies


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Copyright (c) 2014 Kosinova M.I.

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