Theatres and CinemasOdessa Regional Academic Russian Drama Theatre

The edifice of the Odessa Academic Russian Dramatic Theatre was built in 1873-1874  
in the former grain warehouses.

The theater had been built in a hurry, as a temporary building for the City Theatre (Odessa at that time had no city theater, because it was burned down in 1873). The architect of the building was the famous Odessa architect F. Gonsiorovskiy. "Temporary" building, however, stood idle until 1909, when by order of the new owner of the theater, it was redesigned to the skating-ring, which was modern in that time.

The reconstruction project was designed by architects F. Troupyansky and L. Prokopovich. In 1927, when the Soviet Russian Drama Theatre was formed, the building was again transformed by the architect M. Linetskyi. At the end of 1930 another reconstruction was carried out and the building was declared as a monument of history and architecture. In 2000 began new, last in a row renovation of the building by the project of architect A. Martynenko and ingeneer E. Lysenko. During this reconstruction stage box was built.

The troupe of impresario N. Miloslavsky held the first season, and the theater had name “Velikanov Theatre”. In 1875 the theater was sold to F. Rafalovich, who renamed it in the Russian theater.

In the years before the Russian Revolution the theatre hosted the main theatrical events of the city. Many Russian, Ukrainian, German, French, Italian, drama, opera and оperetta companies performed on its stage among which Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, Benoît-Constant Coquelin, Jean Mounet-Sully, Maria Savina, Vladimir Davydov, Maria Zankovetskaya, Panas Saksagansky and Mark Kropivnitsky.

After the Russian Civil War, the “State Odessa Russian Drama Theatre” was officially registered in 1926 and the building was allocated to this government owned entity. In 1927, the Executive Political Committee of the Odessa Governorate (Gubispolkom) appointed opera singer Andrei Alekseyevich Ivanov as director of the theatre.

Important Russian and Ukrainian directors produced shows at the Odessa Russian Theatre, among which were: Abram Rubin, Alexey Gripich, Аvraam Teplev, Aleksandr Solomarsky, Vladimir Bortko the elder, Viktor Terentyev, Konstantin Chernyadev, Viktor Strizhov, Eduard Mitnitsky, Aleksandr Dzekun and many others.

During the occupation of Odessa in the Great Patriotic War the theatre, which was known at that time as the "Russian theater Basil Vronsky" (named after its new owner - the former before the Revolutionary actor of the same theater), he continued to work and was opened on the 16th of April, 1942 by the performance of Gogol’s "The Inspector General". G. Stoltz worked as a chief director in the theater. The troupe of 45 artists was working in the theater and also 25 people from technical staff. Over 2 years of working in the occupation in the theater "The Cherry Orchard", "The Law of the savage" Artsibashev, "Well tailored suit" Z. Tayfunlengiela were performed. Famous singer Peter Leshchenko had his first performance in the Odessa Russian Theater on the 20th of May, 1942.
In December 2009, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine awarded the Odessa regional Russian drama theatre with the rank of academic theatre. In the time of Soviet Union and new countries, created after its collapse, this title is awarded to the theatres considered to be most prestigious in the country.