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The Building

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Kęstučio g. 3, Telšiai
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Telšiai, located in the Curonian lands, was first mentioned in written sources in 1450. In 1791, the city was granted the Magdeburg Rights. During the same year, Bernardine monks built a stone church on a hill, which, in 1926, after the establishment of the Telšiai Diocese, became a Cathedral. The first school was established in 1793. In 1875, a yeshiva was opened in the city, although it was moved to Cleveland in 1941. Telšiai was developing rapidly both at the end of the 19th century and during the interwar period. A railway line, built in 1932, became one of the main contributors towards its growth together with industrial development and numerous public initiatives. Undoubtedly, the inhabitants of the First Independent Republic of Lithuania that kept getting more and more modern also sought modern entertainment. Thus, watching films was an especially popular activity.

The first cinema in Lithuania was opened in 1905 in Vilnius. In 1911, a cinema, named Džiugas, began operating in Telšiai inside a new building that was built in the same year. At the time, the three storey red-brick house had to be very different from those around it. Even today one can find modest wooden houses on both sides of the building.

The memoirs of the former Burgomaster of the city of Telšiai, Feliksas Milevičius, reveal the fact that the building also functioned as a classical theatre: Telšiai never used to have a palace suitable for theatre, except for the rooms at the Džiugas Cinema.

Why the name Džiugas? Legend has it that Telšiai was founded by a giant or a hero named Džiugas (Telšys). Džiugas Hill and the Džiuginėnai hill fort are close to the city, so it’s not surprising that a great number of projects and products representing the city were called by a similar name. Džiugas cheese and other products can be purchased even in countries far and wide, and the Džiugas elderly dance group has been dancing for many years now. The city’s gymnasium is also named in a similar fashion.

Subsequently, the name Džiugas was used for the cinema that opened inside a former Telšiai synagogue. The cinema on Kęstučio Street was named Spalis (October) during the Soviet occupation.

After the restoration of independence, the cinema was replaced by other arts institutions. In 1993, the Telšiai Exhibition Hall was opened here. In 2016, the Applied Research of Cultural Heritage Conservation Centre in Telšiai of Vilnius Academy of Arts was opened in the newly renovated building, complete with an exhibition space. Conferences, lectures and other educational activities also take place here.

The Building

Kęstučio g. 3, Telšiai

Telšiai, located in the Curonian lands, was first mentioned in written sources in 1450. In 1791, the city was granted the Magdeburg Rights. During the same year, Bernardine monks built a stone church on a hill, which, in 1926, after the establishment of the Telšiai Diocese, became a Cathedral. The first school was established in 1793. In 1875, a yeshiva was opened in the city, although it was moved to Cleveland in 1941. Telšiai was developing rapidly both at the end of the 19th century and during the interwar period. A railway line, built in 1932, became one of the main contributors towards its growth together with industrial development and numerous public initiatives. Undoubtedly, the inhabitants of the First Independent Republic of Lithuania that kept getting more and more modern also sought modern entertainment. Thus, watching films was an especially popular activity.

The first cinema in Lithuania was opened in 1905 in Vilnius. In 1911, a cinema, named Džiugas, began operating in Telšiai inside a new building that was built in the same year. At the time, the three storey red-brick house had to be very different from those around it. Even today one can find modest wooden houses on both sides of the building.

The memoirs of the former Burgomaster of the city of Telšiai, Feliksas Milevičius, reveal the fact that the building also functioned as a classical theatre: Telšiai never used to have a palace suitable for theatre, except for the rooms at the Džiugas Cinema.

Why the name Džiugas? Legend has it that Telšiai was founded by a giant or a hero named Džiugas (Telšys). Džiugas Hill and the Džiuginėnai hill fort are close to the city, so it’s not surprising that a great number of projects and products representing the city were called by a similar name. Džiugas cheese and other products can be purchased even in countries far and wide, and the Džiugas elderly dance group has been dancing for many years now. The city’s gymnasium is also named in a similar fashion.

Subsequently, the name Džiugas was used for the cinema that opened inside a former Telšiai synagogue. The cinema on Kęstučio Street was named Spalis (October) during the Soviet occupation.

After the restoration of independence, the cinema was replaced by other arts institutions. In 1993, the Telšiai Exhibition Hall was opened here. In 2016, the Applied Research of Cultural Heritage Conservation Centre in Telšiai of Vilnius Academy of Arts was opened in the newly renovated building, complete with an exhibition space. Conferences, lectures and other educational activities also take place here.

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