In the Soviet Union entertainment was centralized. Goskino and Union of Cinema looked after the theatrical film cinema. The committee of television and Radio supervised broadcasting. The entertainment industry was strong. Despite the official censorship it was financed and occasionally produced wonderful product. The movie theater was at every corner and the ticket was a few kopeks.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union Russian cinema was in downfall and has not fully recovered yet. It is still struggling to survive the free market conditions. Video players and later DVD players as well as the access to pirated films always available online even sooner they are released greately contributed to it. Many movie theaters moved out and the cinemas lost its major entertaining role in Russia.
Fortunately some cinemas managed to survive and became newly designed and equipped to offer more comfortable and up-to date service. More screens are being opened throughout the country now. 3-d, 4d and 5d cinemas offer the different effects one cannot get at home watching a movie or TV. Total production budget of movies in Russia in 2010 grew by 43% compared to 2009 And by 30% compared to pre-crisis 2008. The total box-office receipts exceeded the 1 ticket for person level for the first time since the collapse of the USSR.
Over centuries, the circus has been an important part of Russia's rich cultural heritage and enjoyed popularity in Russian society and among foreign guests. From its beginning in the 18th century court of Catherine the Great, through the Soviet era when the circus turned into true national entertainment, until present, Russian circus has remained a favorite form of entertainment, even during times of great change within Russian society. The reason for its popularity and longevity is explained by its universal appeal.
Circus is enjoyed by all, regardless of race, religion, language, social class, education or age. It’s a truly universal form of entertainment. Names like Karandash, Oleg Popov, Yury Nikulin and Mikhail Shuidin (all famous circus clowns), Irina Bugrimova, Natalya Durova – USSR animal tamers, Zapashny brothers- modern Russian lion tamers are known throughout Russia and abroad. With its rich tradition and enviable reputation, the Moscow Sate Circus is one of most famous world circuses adored in Russia and a hit around the world.
Russian theater is also struggling crisis, however it remains favorite among Russians and the avid theatre-lovers do not miss the chance to see the native theatre productions and performances of favorite artists. The best of Moscow’s theaters: Taganka Theatre, MKhAT (Moscow Art, Theater in the name of Chekhov, Vakhtangov Theater, Lenkom and Moscow Art theatres as well as Grand Drama Theater in the name of Tovstonogov, Mikhailovsky and Alexandrinsky theatres in St. Petersburg are usually full and tickets are sold out in advance.
Russian ballet is a part of national spiritual culture and Russian art. Throughout the century (a tendency that continues into the 21st century) ballet was Russia’s trademark and inspired a multitude of masterpieces, among other art forms. Russian women – ballet dancers: became ballet icons known all over the world. World famous Bolshoi Ballet and Opera theatre in Moscow is one of the leading ballet and opera companies in the world. Its performances elicit international acclaim, and an evening at the Bolshoi remains one of Moscow's sublime pleasures. The newly renovated Bolshoi theater will have purchasers' passport numbers printed on the tickets to prevent touts and agencies selling them for vastly inflated prices. Another major opera and ballet theater is Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet and Opera theatre. It is one of top 6 ballet and opera companies in the world. It is a "must see" in St. Petersburg. Opera and ballet are the arts one can enjoy with no language limits as the appeal to the heart and make a long lasting impression.
With more then 2000 museums on Russia visiting a museums is a quite popular activity, especially during a vacation or travel.
Most active museum-goers are the people aged 25-35. They visit museums once a year or once in 2 years on average and make about one third of the country's population.
Russians are mainly focused on art and history museum, the so called “obligatory” museums that preserve the national heritage of the country. These are the museums of Moscow Kremlin, including Kremlin Armoury and State Diamond Fund Museum; the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts; the State Hermitage Museum and others. The attitude to the museums of most Russians nowadays is a must do cultural experience according to the 2009 poll.
For some the attitude is formal, others seek information and “cultural entertainment”. Some group of visitors is hunting the art albums, post cards, magnets and other souvenirs offered by the museum to make a nice gift to friends and work-mates. Russian museums usually have a dual paying system for the country citizens and foreigners. There is usually a system of reduced price tickets for retired, children, students, and the military. Both state-funded and private museums are existent.
There are a few placed in Russia and former Soviet states where a visitor can observe the animals and get familiar with the underwater inhabitants. Moscow Zoo is the oldest, most known and probably the largest in Russia. Some of them, founded during the Soviet time are currently subsidized by the State. Some private facilities were animals are kept have been opened not long ago. The conditions for the animals vary in each zoo and very much depend on the director and the staff. Zoos range in size and quality from cageless parks to small roadside menageries with concrete slabs and iron bars. There is a number of comfortable zoos and wildlife parks where animals are freely roaming around, provided enough food, quality care and successfully breed. In others the zoo officials often consider profits ahead of the animals' well- being. Animals suffer from more neglect in some zoos: underfeeding, poor treatment small and dirty cages with sick chained animals. This always causes public roar, but not often the situation is changed.
Going to a modern comfortably arranged for animals and visitors wild park, dolphinarium or zoo is a great please for children and adults. Observing wild life, possibility to feed an animal or hold a cub leaves unforgettable memories. Some zoos are really enthusiastic about saving the wildlife. Safari park in the Russian resort city of Gelendzhik provides care for abused animals and tries to save the rapidly diminishing Caucasus tiger population.
There are dolphinariums and oceanariums in many Russian cities that feature such animals as Black Sea bottle-nosed dolphins, white whales, walruses, seals, and northern sea lions. The performances they give always become a memorable entertainment. Gelendzhik oceanarium (Sea Aquarium) offers not only a spectacular entertainment but also marine fauna studies.
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