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The origin of the name Dmytrivska Street. The history of the street

Dmytrivska Street:
from “tramp” shop to cinema “Komunar”

Having appeared under the name of Dmytrivska, the street, which starts from Pobeda Square, was successfully preserving its name till 1939 and then the name was returned again in 1993.

It is supposed that the street was named in honour of a merchant A. Dmytriyev, who supplied Moscow with cereals, walnuts and apples from Kiev, and also fabric, jewelry, weapon and other goods purchased in European countries in the second half of XVII century. The merchant dwelled exactly in the area where Dmytrivska Street is situated.

But during the period from 1939 to 1993 the street was called after Vyacheslav Rudolfovych Menzhynskyi, a Soviet party and statesman. It is noteworthy that at the time of German occupation (1941-1943) the street was named after a Ukrainian writer Vasyl Stefanyk.

Tramcar MTV-82 in Menzhynskogo (Dmytrivska) Street. 1960-ies

Intersection of Menzhynskogo (Dmytrivska) and Pavlovska Streets. 1970-ies

XX century

The street starts from former Galytska Square. In the past there was situated a market of the same name and later it was called a Jewish one (at the pre-revolutionary times this district was identified by authorities as one of the places of a dense Jewish settlement), or in short Yevbaz (Eng. Jewish market). Now the Kiev circus is situated at this place. The street ends on Lukyanivska Square.

Till 50-ies of the last century a very fine building with a mansard in the style of the Venetian Renaissance was situated here. On the ground floor there were a commission shop (shop where second-hand goods are sold on commission) and a chemist’s shop with a French title “Pharmacie”.

In the past the so called “Iron Church” (the church of John Chrysostom) was situated here; it went through the fire in 1884, however, in 1934 when Kiev started to be the capital of Ukraine, it was pulled down like many other churches at that time.

At the intersection with Pavlivska Street there was situated a sausage department of Сarl Bullion’s factory. At that place on the patch there were famous butcher’s, greengrocer’s and fish shops.

In May, 1916 in the heat of the First World War the small Theatre of Miniatures was opened on the ground floor of the building at 1 Dmytrivska Street, belonged to colonel’s wife Vera Kolyadko. And after 1918 there was a cinema here, which was re-equipped as a grocery store, named by people as a “tramp” one. This shop existed till 70-ies. Nowadays a joint-stock company “Kyi Avia” is situated here.

At the post-war times there were refuges for thieves and their showdowns in basements of buildings located in this area…Once the police organized a round-up here. But having entered a basement, the policemen themselves were trapped: bandits got out through a hatch, coming out to one of apartments on the ground floor, and then closed the entrance to the basement with a huge padlock from the outside.

Today in the courtyards in Dmytrivska Street pensioners play dominoes under shady nut wood trees.

By tram to “Komunar”

Passing a post office building at the intersection with Poltavska Street, a tram was approaching to the cinema “Komunar”. Saving 3 kopecks on a tram ticket, dozens of children from the nearest districts were hurrying here to watch children films for 10 kopecks every Sunday. Because of saved kopecks, before the movie they could buy not a watery milk ice-cream for 9 kopecks, but a tasty so called plombir ice-cream with cream roses in a cone or a choc-ice in a shining silver foil.

Nowadays a cinema “Kievan Rus” (Artema Street) is situated at the place of the loved by children “Komunar” cinema. But that old cinema is remembered with nostalgia, there supporting columns prevented from watching a film in a big hall and shielded the screen, and there was no rise of the floor in a small hall, and seats were situated diagonally, but not one by one.

Based on the materials of the book “Forgotten Pages of Kiev life” written by Vitaliy Bakanov


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