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Train Station Set to Become Fun

Published: August 3, 2004 (Issue # 991)



  • Varshavsky station, built in 19th century, was closed for renovations in May 2001.
    Photo: Alexander Belenky / The St. Petersburg Times

The Varshavsky station, a 19th century city train station closed for renovation in May 2001, will be turned into an enormous movie theater cum entertainment center.

Moscow-headquartered film distribution and entertainment operator Investkinoproject and St. Petersburg's largest holding company Adamant are investing a total of $40 million into the reconstruction of the station, Investkinoproject's general director Alexander Timofeyev said Monday. The project's completion is expected by September 2005.

The new center will be called Le Train Bleu to commemorate the Calais-Mediterranean Express, more commonly known as Le Train Bleu, that ushered European aristocrats on vacation to the Mediterranean Sea in the late 1800s. "A list of devoted riders [of Le Train Bleu] included Churchill, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Toscanini, Rachmaninoff... ," Armchair France guidebook explains.

Declared by the New York Times to be one of the most beautiful trains of the world, the renovated Train Bleu was overly popular until the 1950s, when air travel gradually replaced train rides.

Timofeyev said that Le Train Bleu was the symbol of true success in the transportation industry - this is why Investkinoproject decided to use the story as the leitmotif in the reconstruction of one of the city's oldest train stations.

The idea of the project belonged to Investkinoproject, that picked Adamant as the developer. Investkinoproject is acting as a co-investor and partner in terms of advising on the concept of construction, Timofeyev said.

The investment funds were raised by Investkinoproject and Adamant, Timofeyev said, refusing to specify the stakes each company holds in the project.

Investkinoproject is also in possession of a share package and the land-leasing rights, Timofeyev said. He did not reveal the amount of the package.

Adamant representatives were not available for comments.

The 32,000 square meter center will accommodate nine screens, bowling, casino, billiard, gaming machines, a 3D ride, coffee-shop and several restaurants. The building will also include a shopping mall, developed by Adamant, featuring several chain boutiques. According to the architectural concept, worked out by Italian designer Jovanni Bartoli, both the outside and the inside facades of the stations will be fully preserved.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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