National Film Foundation of Russian Federation
rus_eagleФедеральное Государственное
Бюджетное Учреждение Культуры
Учредителем и собственником
имущества Госфильмофонда является
Российская Федерация

Illuzion cinema

History of the Movietheatre

Gosfilmofond’s Illusion movie theatre, the world’s largest film storage with the collection of over 70 000 films, is located in the center of Moscow near the Kremlin in a high-rise building at Kotelnicheskaya Naberejnaya.

 Illusion’s opening to the audience happened on March 18, 1966 based on the order of the Chairman of the State Committee of USSSR Council of Ministers on Cinematography # 428 dated November 12, 1965 “On Gosfilmofond Movie Theatre”, which stated that “in order to enhance the use of Gosfilmofond’s rich film collection to promote best works of Soviet and foreign cinematography, it is necessary to open Gosfilmofond’s own  movietheater in the building of former “Znamya” movietheatre at Kotelnicheskaya Naberejnaya, 1/15. ”

Illusion was working on a non-profit basis and was the first cultural institution that was not subject to official cinematography censorship, although strictly controlled by the Party officials of Moscow.

Since its inception, the Illusion had great prestige among the various categories of viewers. The press wrote that for many of them it was a breath of freedom in the period of stagnation-the period of restrictions, “putting the screws on”, censorship tightening.


In its early operating years, because of its exclusivity, special repertoire and precarious ways of film propaganda, the theatre constantly was under the pressure of the Party and governmental authorities. Occasionally there were raising propositions of closing the theater. But public opinion and participation of the outstanding masters of Soviet cinema like Roman Karmen, Mikhail Zharov, and Marina Ladynina, who took a peculiar patronage of cinema, helped to avoid any crippling situations.


Over many years the movie theatre was attended by many prominent figures of world cinematography: film directors Akira Kurosawa, Keynosuki Kinugasa, Kaneto Shindo, Hiroshi Teshigahara (Japan), Rouben Mamoulian, King Vidor, Sydney Pollack (USA), the classics of world cinematography Giuseppe De Santis, Lattuady Alberto (Italy), Bertrand Tavernier, actors Annie Girardot , Jeanne Moreau, Gerard Depardieu (France), Giulietta Masina (Italy), Andrzej Munk, Andrzej Wajda, Wojciech Jerzy Has (Poland), Juan Antonio Bardem, Luis Berlanga (Spain) , Satyajit Ray and Raj Kapoor (India), etc. Almost all the famous actors and directors of Russian national cinematography attended the Illusion. Most frequent guests were, Andrei Tarkovsky, Margarita Terekhova, Roman Karmen, Marina Ladynina, Lidiya Smirnova, Faina Ranevskaya, Klara Luchko, Paul Kadochnikov, Yevgeny Samoilov and many others.

Illusion has educated generations of viewers with the spirit of devotion to the art of film, as well as deep interest in the world of film classics. Many of them regularly visit the theater for many decades after the date of emergence.

Nowadays Illusion keeps the tradition of promotion and popularization of the history of world cinematographic culture.


In order to achieve these goals,  in addition to film demonstrations, the theatre organizes themed movie nights, cultural meetings with famous filmmakers, festivals and retrospectives. There are also cinematograhic exhibitions, booklets and reference books created, researchers hold regular consultations for moviegoers where they can answer every question about the film industry.

Today the repertoire of Illusion consist of the best films of the Gosfilmofond collection. Many years after the opening, monthly film schedule is made of thematic cycles: Masterpieces of Silent Movies, Favorite movies of 30-40’s, Masters of Film Directing, Literature and Film, Musical movies, Fairytales for Children and Adults, Movies, Academy Awards, Kings of Laughter, Jubilees of Russian and Foreign Films, Films on demand and etc.

The uniqueness of the Illusion is that its program includes films that are not available for viewing in other theaters.



The Illusion provides room and arranges film screenings from the collection of Gosfilmofond for festivals, recitals, premier corporate events and private voluntary organizations and individuals.

Cinema hall is has 220 seats, equipped with modern theatrical lights and equipment to demonstrate 35 mm-film, 3 videos, Blu-rays , DCP and DolbySurroundEX.

There is a nice cafe in the foyer where you can spend time with your family and friends, eat lunch and relax.

We are willing to cooperate with creative unions, cinematographic associations, rental organizations, cultural centers at the embassies of different countries, higher, secondary and special schools, film schools and all the movie fans.

Address: Kotelnicheskaya Naberejnaya, 1/15 (high-rise building)

Phone: (495) 915-43-53, (495) 915-43-39