Pioner Cinema opened in its current form in October 2009, and quickly became the main gathering place for enthusiasts of real cinema, who demanded high image and sound quality and who preferred to watch films in their original languages with subtitles. The cinema’s repertoire include the biggest box-office hits, from art-house to art-mainstream and auteur blockbusters. Pioner is a “popcorn-free cinema,” which does much to define its atmosphere.
At Pioner on Kutuzovsky, there are 2 screening halls, each with 84 seats. The cinema is fitted with cutting-edge equipment, allowing for screening in any format, from 3D projection to film.
Over the course of the year, Pioner hosts various film festivals, along with national “film weeks” — including French, Israeli, and Polish cinema, among many others.
Pioner is also the official home of the Moscow International Film Festival, and is part of the International Confederation of Art Cinemas (CICAE) and Europa Cinemas.
Pioner regularly hosts festivals, retrospectives, and film nights, as well as premieres of significant Russian and foreign films. Over the past several years, Pioner has hosted Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Verhoeven, Tim Burton, Otar Iosseliani, Isabelle Huppert, Fanny Ardant, Louis Garrel, Rutger Hauer, Jiri Menzel, Nanni Moretti, and many others.
In summer 2014, Pioner launched the “At the Cinema, At Last” programme, which allows audiences to see restored versions and full directors’ cuts of the masterpieces of world cinema, which have never been released in Russian theatres.
As befits its name, Pioner has more than once led the way in adopting new film forms, not always directly connected with the classic film repertoire. It was at Pioner that audiences first were able to see popular foreign TV series on the big screen — for example, “Breaking Bad,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “South Park,” “The Young Pope,” and the best Russian series of recent years, “The Thaw.”
Pioner’s mission is not limited to film screenings: the cinema ordered a special printing of three books analyzing the state and development of contemporary film industries in France, Poland, and Israel, as well as research dedicated to the cinema scene in France.
The Pioner family includes three open air cinemas: in Muzeon, Gorky Park, and Sokolniki Park. Pioner Open Air in Gorky Park is the biggest outdoor cinema in Russia, seating 470 people. Pioner Open Air in Sokolniki Park is designed for 300 people, and the new Pioner Open Air in Muzeon can seat 230.
Pioner’s open air cinemas are open from May through October, and work in all weather. The cinemas feature the most cutting-edge equipment, allowing audiences to watch in formats ranging from 3D projections to original film stock. Pioner Open Air hosts various festivals, special screenings, premieres and, during the day, lectures, master classes, concerts, and even theatrical performances and poetry readings.
In 2017 Pioner started its own distribution business — following the breakthrough activity of the movie chain and expanding it. Pioner’s portfolio contains more than 50 films including animation blockbusters — Maya the Bee: The Honey Games, Minuscule 2, Shaun the Sheep 2; films featuring world’s famous actors — Jude Law and Natalie Portman (Vox Lux), Gary Oldman (Mary), Michael Caine (My Generation), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Promise at Dawn), Emily Mortimer (The Bookshop), as well as documentaries about the most outstanding fashion designers — McQueen, Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist, Dries, Lagerfeld Confidential, We Margiela, etc. Pioner Cinema Distribution Company works with the world’s most prominent film companies — Sierra/Affinity, Gaumont, Studiocanal, Pathé, Futurikon, TF1, Wild Bunch, Embankment Films, Dogwoof, and shows its films not only in Russia, but also in the Baltic and CIS countries.
Cafe Pion is a “auteur’s restaurant,” where guests can grab a quick bite before a screening or have dinner with a large group. The head chef is Anatoly Filatov. Next to Pioner Open Air in both Gorky Park and Sokolniki Park are food stands. In summer 2016, Pion Craft Bar opened in Sokolniki Park, with a wide selection of craft beer and snacks designed by the head chef.
The Pioner Cinema bookstore reopened after a complete remodel, under the new name Pioner Bookstore. After 5 years of work with various partners, we decided that it was time for a change and came up with our own kind of bookstore, designed with the desires of the cinema’s patrons in mind.
Open daily from 12.00 to 22.00.
At Pioner Bookstore, you can find more than just the most recent book releases – we regularly hold lectures, book presentations, and discussions.
+7 499 240 52 40
In December 2016, the famous “Khudozhestvenniy” Cinema became part of the Pioner group. One of the oldest active cinemas in the world, it was originally opened under the name “Khudozhestvenniy Electrotheatre” in 1909, and worked continuously until 2014, when it was closed for renovations. From 1912 to 1913, the cinema was rebuilt by the famous architect Fedor Shekhtel, who decorated its façade with classical bas-reliefs. Later they were removed, but will be restored in time for the reopening of the cinema. Pioner plans to return the building its historical image, and bring the city’s premiere cinema back to Muscovites and visitors.
Photo taken in 1949. Courtesy of the Architecture Museum.