Promoting Russian culture has always been of primary importance to the Russian Community Center (RCC). Over the years the Executive Board and Ladies’ Auxiliary have organized innumerable social events, including concerts by local and visiting performing artists; annual crafts and food bazaars; spring, autumn, and New Year’s balls; and children’s talent shows. Club President Nick Bogdanoff and Carol Sotnik, serving on the Board of Directors, will share their facility and the challenges of owning an old building. Russian pastries will be served.
Built in 1925, the Roycroft Theater was one of three Capitol Hill second-run movie theaters that showed movies at lower prices than the larger theaters downtown. The other two included the 900-seat Venetian, at 14th Avenue and East Pine Street (opened in 1926, closed in 1958, and razed the following year) and The Society Theatre at Broadway and East John Street (opened in 1909, reconfigured as the Broadway Theatre in 1921, remodeled to Streamline Moderne in the 1940s, and adapted to use as a Rite-Aid store in 1990). The growing popularity of television in the 1950s put many neighborhood theaters out of business. The Roycroft closed in 1959 and has been home to the RCC since that time.
With the arrival of a large number of Russian immigrants after World War II, an interest in community life was renewed. In 1952 a group of new and longtime immigrants formed a club and, one year later, acquired a temporary hall which served as the RCC for six years. In 1959 the club acquired the former Roycroft Theater and remodeled the interior into a ballroom/auditorium with a theater stage. The Center opened to the public on October 29, 1960. Two balalaika orchestras were formed here, as well as a theatrical group which staged countless productions, and enhanced community cultural life. In past years, the RCC has been home to a chess club, a Russian art gallery, and a puppet theater.
Registration cost: Donations accepted