3 Les Kurbas Street, the home of the Les Kurbas Theatre, is a unique building with an unparalleled atmosphere. It walls hold many stories of talented artists whose lives and visions have filled its halls.
The story began with the famous, talented and popular restaurateur Franzisz Moskowicz; who was known as the eternally young and smiling King of the Night. In 1908 he commissioned a theatre to be built on what was then Reitana Street. The Vienna Architectural Bureau designed a three-story Art Nouveau theater building, but in 1909, the project was redesigned by Lviv architects Sigmund Fedorsky and Stanislav Matsudinsky. Theirs was Gothic style exterior; and additionally they designed its inner chambers. It was an impressive, elegant, luxurious theatre, stunning with its beauty. On March 2, 1910 it opened as the variety theatre “Casino De Paris.” “Director Franz” spared no costs and invited the best artists of various genres from around the world to perform in his theatre. A typical evening program at the Casino de Paris usually consisted of three sets which could include satirical skits, dance performances, operettas, cabarets skits, humorous vignettes, and farce routines. After 1912, films also became showcased as part of these evenings.
From 1920-1944 the Casino de Paris building became the home to the Bahatela Cabaret, replete with dance hall. It was critically acclaimed as a true artistic cabaret en par with best of western traditions. During the heyday of jazz in the 1930s, jazz artists from around the world would grace stage of the Casino de Paris. In the late 30s the great Eddie Rosner and his band played here.
In the 1940s, the building was taken into Soviet hands and much of its lavish design were neutralized. Over the subsequent years it was used for differing purposes. The State Regional Philharmonic Orchestra performed here. In the early 1950s, it was the “Pioneers Palace” (scouts). In the 1960s the Regional Center of Folk Art was located its premises.
In the late 80's studio theaters began to emerge across Ukraine; and 1988 The Les Kurbas Lviv Young Theater was formed. Now known as “The Les Kurbas Theatre” our troupe fills her with their own stories, continuing the legacy of theatrical life in this unique building.