Kříženeckého nám. 322/5: Barrandov Film Studios

Perched on a rocky bluff on the west bank of the Vltava, the Barrandov studios were intended as the centrepiece of a broader plan – an entire art deco suburb designed to accommodate the burgeoning 1930s film industry. With streets named after pioneers such as the Lumière brothers and Jan Kříženecký, and glistening villas in the modernist style, the aim was to create a Czech version of Hollywood.

Sadly, today’s Barrandov is hardly Tinseltown. Many of the associated houses and buildings, including the once-glamorous restaurant on Barrandov Terraces (designed, like the studios, by Max Urban) fell into serious disrepair both during and after Communism.

The studios, however – which gave birth to a number of Academy Award-winning movies including The Shop on Main Street, Closely Observed Trains, Amadeus and Kolya – have been maintained and extended; and along with their enormous costume department and skilled technicians are today considered among the preeminent studios in Europe.

Update: For those interested in the proposed restoration of the Terraces as a restaurant and convention centre, here is a recent article from Metro, which suggests that some development is ongoing. The current state of the building is shown below: