Jalta Palace

Location

Brno, Czech Republic

49.1139101, 16.3622807

Author

Jaroslav Polívka

Architect

Built in

1929

Modified in

1949

This two-part building was designed by renowned Czech engineer Jaroslav Polívka, a collaborator of Frank Lloyd Wright. The basement of the Jalta Palace housed one of the first modern cinemas in Brno – Bio Moderna, together with a restaurant and community rooms and it was reconstructed in 2018.

The Jalta Palace was completed in 1929 to the design of architect Jaroslav Josef Polívka. This two-part building is located near the New City Hall, an 18th-century Baroque complex. The basement of the Jalta Palace housed one of the first modern cinemas in Brno – Bio Moderna, together with a restaurant and community rooms. The ground floor level comprised of a shopping arcade, the first and second floor were reserved for offices and the last two floors – for residential spaces.

Shortly after construction was completed, the Palace’s ownership was passed to the Y.W.C.A (Young Women’s Christian Association) who converted the building into the Masaryk’s Girl House. In 1934, the Palace was sold to the Czechoslovak state and since 1954 it has been managed by the Brno City House Company, formerly known as the House Administration of the Municipal National Committee in Brno.

The Bio Moderna was converted into the Jalta cinema in 1949, with the basement restaurant transformed into the City Canteen. Following the Palace’s transition to private ownership in 1989, the original upper floor apartment spaces were given over to the City of Brno building company until 1993.

The upper floors were subsequently vacated, and the ground and first floor remained occupied by Česká pojišťovna, an insurance company which owned the entire building until 2004. Babylon, the first major music club in Brno, was established in place of the former cinema during the same year.

The Brno City Hall attempted to regain ownership of the Palace in 2004 for administrative purposes, but it was not until 2006 that they managed to buy the building from Česká pojišťovna through a disadvantageous exchange from entrepreneur Miroslav Lekeš. The necessary repairs of the now dilapidated building were however too costly for Brno and since 2016 it has been vacant and disused. Recently the Jalta Palace was sold to a duo of Brno developers who started a reconstruction which was finished in 2019.

Text by Barbora Slavíčková

Function

1929Mixed use – Apartments, Cinema, Shopping passage, Offices, restaurant, community rooms

1949 Mixed use – Apartments, Cinema, Shopping passage, Offices, restaurant, community rooms

2018 Mixed use – Office building, shopping passage, apartment

Ownership

1929 Jaroslav Polívka

1949 City of Brno

2018 Premiere properties s.r.o.

Condition

1929 Good

1949 Good

2018 In reconstruction

Property Management

1929

1949

2018

Form of government

1929 Parliamentary Republic

1949 Socialist Federative Republic

2018 Parliamentary Republic

Spatial Planning Agency

1929

1949

2018

Type of heritage and protection

1929 None

1949 None

2018 None