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House of Culture Twinning between peoples

The building located on Bucharest’s Bucureștii Noi Boulevard was known as the headquarters of the Masca Theatre, although the theatre had not been operating here for a long time. Originally, the building was known as the House of CUlture (or cinema) “Twinning between peoples”.

The House of Culture was built in 1953 according to the plans of the architect Nicolae Porumbescu and it is an interesting example of the architectural style adopted at that time, namely socialist realism. This style implied a return to the classical traditions, which were strongly promoted by the Soviet Union.

In fact, the building is part of a much larger complex, in which the so-called Stalinist blocks on both sides are integrated, forming together a complex in which the theatre building is the focal point.

Similar sets of Stalinist blocks can be found in other areas of Bucharest, such as the Military Academy area, Basarabia Boulevard or Vatra Luminoasă.

The 3-storey blocks, connected by arcades, were developed along the boulevard in the 1950s and were called “Workers’ Housing in New Bucharest”, and the space in front of the theatre was known as Marx-Engels Square, in honour of the fathers of scientific socialism.

Between 2000 and 2005, the Masca Theatre operated in the former cinema building, but in totally unfavourable conditions. A few years ago, the building’s façade was renovated, but only the front, probably due to lack of funds. However, it is to be appreciated, as the front part looks very good and highlights the architecture of the building, thus being visible from Bucharest Avenue.