Space names and people's construction. Some facts about Salyut Culture Centre

December 1, 2019

Since its construction in 1966, this three-storey building with panoramic windows, which houses the Salyut Culture Centre, has been one of the most prominent facilities in Southern Tushino district. But the Culture House  itself is much older, as it had emerged in another building. This year, it turns 75. Annually, it holds 600 events attended by over 100,000 visitors.

Salyut has come a long way from a small club in a wooden hut to one of the greatest Moscow culture centres.

Talents of a wooden hut

A plain wooden hut, part of Tushinsky Machine-Building Plant, was a popular leisure destination of its employees, since it housed Salyut Club. After shifts, workers attended their favourite drama club, choral singing and dance classes. They recreated during these activities, and fatigue of a labour day vanished away.

The club was open in 1944, 12 years after the plant's launch. Factory workers, librarians, accountants, designers, locksmiths, turners and carpenters starred on its stage. They staged 'Shine, but not Warm', 'Viburnum Grove', 'Lyubov Yarovaya', 'Talents and Admirers’, 'Mozart and Salieri' and other plays.

The club library goers who were writing their own poetry and prose joined in the 'Green Lamp' community. They met to read each other their pieces and discuss works by popular writers.

By the early 1960s, it was clear that the old hut was too small for the vibrant creative energy. Young plant employees initiated construction of a new large building for Salyut.

New building

The first stone of a would-be Culture Palace was laid in August 1964. The building was to be located in Svobody Street, closer to the centre. The Palace was built by efforts of a so-called people's construction: each employee had to work out on the site a certain number of hours.

They completed construction in November 1966, and moved in immediately. From now on, the doors of Salyut were open not only for workers, but also for all Muscovites willing to attend concerts and performances. The Culture Palace became one of the most popular venues for residents of the entire district.

The new building had more than 20 rooms, with comfortable concert halls, a music lounge, film screening and exhibition halls. One of the rooms on the second floor has a bas-relief that might have been made by students of the sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, as Salyut personnel suggest. They have tried to dig deeper into that issue. But still, Tsereteli's involvement has neither been officially confirmed nor denied.

As soon as Salyut moved, the number of performing teams increased. However, now they were managed not by factory workers, but by art university students and graduates.


Mixed academic choir performing Russian and foreign classic songs was the most popular band. Artists were often invited to perform at other Moscow concert venues. The choir was managed by Alexander Anisimov, at that time a graduate student of the Moscow Conservatory Conductor's Department, and today a merited artist of Russia and chief conductor of the Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of Belarus, whose work was awarded the Golden Mask and other prizes.

There were new bands built at the new site: a men's vocal group, a children's music and choral studio, Vesnyanochka youth Russian song band touring all over the country and taking part in international festivals.

Soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre, in particular, Susanna Zvyagina, conducted classes for dance groups. The Yunost children's folk dance group was managed by a merited cultural professional of Russia Anatoly Melekhov. The group toured the Netherlands, Hungary and Bulgaria. It still exists and has 173 members.

The workers' philharmonic held meetings with famous groups, organised their concerts. For example, the Pyatnitsky State Academic Russian Folk Choir performed at Salyut, too.

Salyut's People's Youth Theatre was managed by Director of the Soviet Army Central Theatre Sergei Valkov. Actors Leonid Persiyaninov and Boris Ardov trained young actors. They staged 'The Dawns Here Are Quiet', 'Echelon', 'Valentine and Valentina' and other performances. Sergei Prokhanov (today the Art Director of the Moon Theatre) and Viktor Proskurin, known for the parts of Hermann in the 'Queen of Spades' (1982) and merchant Vozhevatov in 'Cruel Romance' (1984), made their debuts on this stage. Also, the Maly Theatre staged its play here starring Yuri Solomin, Vera Pashennaya, Yelena Gogoleva and other actors.

The Culture Palace was on friendly terms with the Central Cinema House. Guests watched new films and attended meetings with directors. Besides, there were painting and photography clubs in Salyut.


In 2015, the building saw a big overhaul. Within two years, all the rooms and the facade were completely renovated, with halls supplied with cutting-edge equipment. After the renovation, Salyut halls obtained names associated with space, such as Sunrise, Star, Buran and Diamond, the spacecraft, in whose creation the Tushinsky Machine-Building Plant took part.

Performing groups did not suspend their activity during the overhaul, they rehearsed on other Moscow sites.

Today, as before, the Culture Centre hosts concerts and performances. Famous Russian actors Marat Basharov, Maria Aronova, Alexander Pankratov-Cherny and others perform on the Salyut stage. Performances of theatre troupes based in the Culture Centre are very successful, too. In particular, Triptych Theatre and the Moscow Play Theatre presented their plays 'My Brownie' and 'Warsaw Melody' this autumn.

Recently, the project 'Theatre Within Walking Distance' launched here, so residents of different districts can watch performances of renowned Moscow theatres without going far from home. Sfera Theatre was the first to show its 'Raskas' performance on Salyut's stage. Moscow theatre groups will keep on performing at this venue.

Salyut regularly hosts lectures, training sessions, workshops, festivals, photo and artistic exhibitions of creative lab participants.

Salyut has 31 professional teams and 15 amateur associations and hobby clubs, many of which originated in the 1960s and 1970s.


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