Splendid Palace is one of the most magnificent and long-standing European cinemas that has brought joy to film lovers with excellent quality art since 1923.
The cinema's film catalogue is made up of a very diverse selection - high-quality art pieces, art house gems from Europe and other regions, as well as pictures that have gained recognition in film festivals around the world. One of our main goals is to make Latvian cinema more available to the public while promoting it to an audience that spans wider than just the national borders. The traditional films in our catalogue are complemented by live screenings of operas and recordings from world renowned opera houses. Splendid Palace has become a host for various film festivals, including being the homebase of the Riga International Film Festival.
The cinema is a member of the international film theatre network “Europa Cinemas” and “Art Cinemas”.
Splendid Palace is truly the place to celebrate the art of film!
ABOUT THE BUILDING
The cinema building, built in 1923, was the first in Rīga to serve strictly as a film theatre. The building’s exterior boasts an impressive Neo-Baroque style facade, while the interior dazzles visitors with its striking Neo-Rococo design. The blueprint for the cinema was created by the architect Fridrihs Karlis Skujins. The decorative elements in the large hall were crafted by the sculptors Rihards Maurs and Jekabs Legzdins. When you cast your eyes upward to view the ceiling of the large hall, you'll be mesmerized by the opulent and vibrant ceiling paintings by Hermanis Grinbergs. Splendid Palace has maintained its historical appearance and retained its value as an architectural monument.
The building has always showed films, that's why “Splendid Palace” has preserved its historic look and value as an architectural monument.
Splendid Palace was founded in 1923 by Vasilijs Jemeļjanovs and Leonids Falshteins ((JSC) AS “ARS”) and it opened on December 30th. The construction of the building took ten months, around 990 workers with the total cost being 850,000 lats.
Since the very beginning, the cinema stood out due to an excellent film repertoire and perfect service. During the silent film era, a wonderful orchestra conducted by Oto Karls provided the visitors with an immersive experience into the films’ universes. Splendid Palace was a trailblazer in many aspects. It was the first cinema in the Baltics to screen sound films, and in the 1930s, it became the premier venue for showing Latvian films. The cinema was very successful – statistics show that from 1923 to 1940, the cinema was visited by 6 million viewers.
After World War II, Elizabetes street, where the cinema is located, was renamed to Kirova street, while Splendid Palace was renamed to cinema “Riga”.
On September 15, 2011, the previous name of the cinema was reinstated. The cinema is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.