This cinema can survive even flood. Maybe because it was created “to the greater glory” and at the very dawn of its existence it was called Gloria-Palast… and maybe because every sort of water sooner or later flows into the sea. In 1927, when the Gloria-Palast was starting its activity, the number of seats in the auditorium amounted to 600 (including the circles) and it had one of the largest screens in Racibórz (measuring 6m by 4m)!
Despite the turmoil during the war, it survived and retained its function as a cinema – the interior was designed in the pop-art style, water-themed decorations of fish and waves appeared on the walls, and its name was changed to “Bałtyk” (as in “the Baltic Sea”). In the seventies the cinema was breaking box office records – with the population of 50 thousand citizens in Racibórz at that time, the Bałtyk Cinema had the attendance of 280 thousand viewers (data from 1973)! In 1997 the fame of this situated in Racibórz sanctuary of the X Muse reached as far as the Baltic Sea… which is probably why the sea decided to pay us a visit.
During the flood of the century only four last rows of seats remained intact – the screen, curtains, loud speakers and all the seats (apart from the four dry rows) found themselves under the water. The period of two successive years was consumed by arduous renovation. Today the Bałtyk is as grand as it used to be in the past; it has not changed with the coming of either video recorders, or overhead projectors, or the Internet… The magic, strength and history of the cinema at 13 Londzina Street still magnetize crowds of viewers, who can watch a film in 2D and 3D here, and meet every Tuesday at 8 p.m. to whet their refined film tastes with a screening at the Connoisseur Club.
As benefits a place which neither gets intimidated by human power nor by forces of nature, day in day out the Bałtyk Cinema “does its bit”. It has seen a lot, it has heard a lot, it has survived a lot. It knows one thing: a breath-taking programme is the key!
ul. Londzina 13
47-400 Racibórz, Poland
tel/fax 32 415 20 33