Kino Tęcza located in Żoliborz was a boiler house of the Warsaw Housing Cooperative built in the late 1920s by the architect Bruno Zborowski. In the first half of the 1930s, the building was a Theater called Teatr Stefan Żeromski led by Irena Solska. The interior of the theater was designed by Szymon Syrkus, a famous Warsaw architect. On August 1st, 1944, it was near the cinema that the first shots of the insurrection were fired, 3 hours before the beginning of the uprising. The building operated as a cinema until 1989, then, the Akademia Ruchu, a theater group, moved into the building. Some parties and concerts were held in Kino Tęcza causing a lot of nuisances to the neighborhood, which complained. In 1997, the owners and the theater group decided to break the contract and the calm was restored. Then, the building housed a restaurant, wine bar, photo studio, an antique shop, an advertising school… In 2011, a five-story residential building was to be built but the association ‘Miasto Jest Nasze’ attempted to register the building on the list of protected monuments, after several months it was accepted.
We learned this week that the former cinema will become the seat of the Film Culture Center Andrzej Wajda. The project is supported by Krystyna Zachwatowicz-Wajda, who lived with her husband Andrzej Wajda in Żoliborz. The revitalization of the site will take 2 and a half years and will restore the pre-war appearance. A 200 seats cinema will open with a specialized repertoir, and meetings, exhibitions, workshops will be organized.
Andrzej Wajda was born in Suwałki in Nort-East Poland on March 6th, 1926, her mother Aniela was a school teacher, and his father, Jakub Wajda was an army officer. He lost his father was at 14, murdered by the Soviets in the Katyń Massacre (1940). In 1942, he joined the Polish resistance and served in the Home Army (Arma Krajowa). After the war, he studied to be a painter at Kraków’s Academy of Fine Arts before entering the Łódź Film School before starting to make movies.
As one of the most famous and major Polish film and theater director with many Internationally recognize movies, he was awarded many times. To mention only few of them: The Jury Special Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival for ‘Kanał‘ in 1957. It was the first film made about the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, telling the story of a company of Home Army resistance fighters escaping the Nazi onslaught through the city’s sewers. The Palme d’Or in Cannes in 1981 for the ‘Man Of Iron‘ referring to the Solidarność movement and Lech Walesa. The César Award by the French Cinema Academy in 1982 for ‘Danton‘ depicting the last weeks of Georges Danton, one of the leaders of the French Revolution starring Gerard Depardieu. The Special Silver Bear at the Berlin’s International Film Festival for his contribution to the cinema (1996) for ‘Holy Week’ (Wielki tydzień). One year later Anna Wielgucka won an Honorable Mention at the Berlin’s International Film Festival for his movie Miss Nobody (Panna Nikt). In 2000, he was awarded of the Academy Honorary Award.
The same year he was also awarded of the Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement at the 56th Berlin International Film Festival. In 2007 his movie Katyń about the Katyń massacre where his father was murdered by the Soviets in 1940 was nominated for an Academy Award.
He died in Warsaw on October 9th, 2016 at the age of 90 and was buried at Salwator Cemetery in Kraków. The international press covered his death, which had worldwide resonance for the film industry.
Filmography (click to see the trailers)
The Bad Boy (Zły chłopiec, 1951 short film)
The Pottery at Ilza (Ceramika ilzecka, 1951 short film)
While you are sleeping (Kiedy ty śpisz, 1953 short film)
A Generation (Pokolenie, 1955)
Towards the Sun (Idę do słońca, documentary on Xawery Dunikowski, 1955)
Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament 1958)
Innocent Sorcerers (Niewinni czarodzieje, 1960)
Siberian Lady Macbeth (Powiatowa lady Makbet, 1961)
Love at Twenty (L’amour à vingt ans, 1962)
The Ashes (Popioly, 1965)
Roly Poly (Przekładaniec, 1968)
Gates to Paradise (Bramy Raju, 1968)
Everything for Sale (Wszystko na sprzedaż, 1969)
Hunting Flies (Polowanie na muchy, 1969)
The Birch Wood (Brzezina, 1970)
Landscape After the Battle (Krajobraz po bitwie, 1970)
Pilate and Others (Pilatus und andere, 1972)
The Wedding (Wesele, 1973)
The Promised Land (Ziemia obiecana, 1974)
The Shadow Line/Smuga Cienia (Smuga cienia, 1976)
Man of Marble (Człowiek z marmuru, 1977)
Without Anesthesia aka Rough Treatment (Bez znieczulenia, 1978)
The Maids of Wilko (Panny z Wilka, 1979)
As years go by, as days go by (Z biegiem lat, z biegiem dni, 1980 TV series)
The Orchestra Conductor (Dyrygent, 1980)
Man of Iron (Człowiek z żelaza, 1981)
A Love in Germany (Eine Liebe in Deutschland, 1983)
A Chronicle of Amorous Accidents (Kronika wypadków miłosnych, 1985)
The French as seen by… (Proust contre la déchéance, 1988)
The Possessed (Les possédés, 1988)
The Crowned-Eagle Ring (Pierścionek z orłem w koronie, 1992)
Holy Week (Wielki Tydzień, 1995)
Miss Nobody (Panna Nikt, 1996)
Pan Tadeusz (1999)
Bigda idzie (Bigda idzie!, 1999 TV theatre)
The Condemnation of Franciszek Klos (Wyrok na Franciszka Kłosa, 2000)
June night (Noc czerwcowa, 2001 TV theatre)
Broken Silence (Przerwane milczenie, 2002)
The Revenge (Zemsta, 2002)
Man of Hope (Czlowiek z nadziei, 2005 short film)
Sweet Rush (Tatarak, 2009)
Walesa. Man of Hope (Wałęsa. Człowiek z nadziei, 2013)