Built up on a selection of documents from the National Archive of the Republic of Tatarstan, this short article evokes the development of cinemas in Kazan from the first permits delivered in 1908 to the end of the Tsarist period. The author notably shows the diversity of places touched by the appearance of the first screening equipments: a wide range of private houses, inns, restaurants, and hotels were converted into projection halls ― especially those situated near the city’s most crowded landing stages ―, before the construction of several cinemas from 1915 onwards. The restrictions of the WWI period are also shortly depicted. Unfortunately, as very often in present-day Russian history-writing, no attention has been given to the major source constituted by the press of the time, both Russian and Tatar, and the author’s study remains silent on contemporary debates on cinema’s value for the Christian/Muslim people’s education, nor on its different attendance by the city’s two major confessional communities.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-3.2.C-171