Cinema Lobby Orchestras

According to Alfred Schreyer, the Soviet Union is the only place that had a tradition of Cinema Lobby Orchestras. It is unclear when exactly this unique piece of cinema culture was founded. The tradition ended – at least in Drohobych – when Alfred Schreyer played his last concert in a cinema lobby on January 10, 1963. Alfred Schreyer’s orchestra had a singer and eleven instrumentalists – three saxophones, two trumpets and trombone, piano, drums, accordion, violin and bass.They played various overtures, Soviet songs, waltzes and created special arrangements when a music film was in the schedule.
The orchestras would play in the cinema lobby, which had a stage and curtain in Soviet times, for 30 to 40 minutes before screening time. Each week the music program was changed.
Alfred Schreyer remembers how people loved the music. And I must say, it happened, from time to time various people bought the ticket, listened to the music concert and left, just to hear a bit of music. It was very, very often like this. Drohobych had two Cinema Lobby Orchestras, according to Alfred Schreyer. In Lviv there were four.