Unfortunately, despite a carefully thought-out visual image, immediately after the opening the architects' oversight became obvious: the modest foyer area of 300 m2 simply could not accommodate everyone who wanted to get into the session. This problem was even highlighted in 1966 by the ‘New World!’ magazine: “before the start of the sessions the audience accumulates directly in the hall, the administration is forced to increase the breaks between the sessions and, therefore, reduce the number of sessions themselves, [...] therefore, the daily incomes of spectacular enterprises are reduced.”.
Nevertheless, it did not prevent the citizens from becoming the part of Tselinny’s history: once having bought a ticket for 50 kopecks, they still remember what kind of a session it was, how they went to the movie club for high school students and played the sea battle in the foyer. So, the cinema hall meant for one and a half thousand seats reached a record for those times mark of two million viewers in 1982.
The building underwent many modifications since the 2000’s. The first extensive reconstruction significantly changed the looks and functional layouts of the building. The panoramic cinema was made into a normal cinema with two film halls with capacities for 255 seats each. A night club was added in the building. All of the further modifications extended the secondary functions. Tselinny’s sgraffito was replicated outside of the building on the south facing facade.
In 2017, it was decided to transform the cinema into the Center for Contemporary Culture, and in the summer of 2018, Sidorkin's sgraffito that was previously considered lost was found in the lobby of the building - it was simply covered up with drywall. Despite the damage (substructures were driven directly through the drawing), , the restoration concept is currently being developed with the damage taken into consideration.
1.Bronovitskaya, A., Malinin, N., Palmin, Y., - “Alma-Ata: architecture of Soviet modernism 1955-1991. Guide” («Алма-Ата: архитектура советского модернизма 1955-1991. Справочник - путеводитель»), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, 2018, Moscow, - p. 44-48.