Palaces and Houses of Culture

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Palaces and Houses of Culture


in the USSR, large club-type institutions with facilities for many types of mass-political and cultural-educational projects directed toward communist education and toward organizing the leisure time of workers and young people.

The network of Palaces and Houses of Culture is constantly growing; they are perfecting their equipment and improving their supply of technical propaganda media and cultural holdings. Palaces and Houses of Culture have large auditoriums and lecture halls, permanent film projector installations, libraries, premises for amateur activities, and art and film studios. They arrange exhibits; organize lectures, parties devoted to individual topics, reviews of current events, and meetings with production innovators, scholars, writers, and composers; and plan holiday balls, days and evenings of rest and recreation for people employed in various occupations, and film festivals. There are children’s sections to provide service for children and adolescents.

The activity of the Palaces and Houses of Culture facilitates the development of all kinds of popular creativity and amateur arts. They have established folk theaters, orchestras, song and dance ensembles, and operatic, choreographic, and choral groups. The number of participants in the amateur arts activities of the Palaces and Houses of Culture during 1970 reached 13 million. Most of the people’s universities operate with the Palaces and Houses of Culture as bases.

District, municipal, and village Houses of Culture are state club-type institutions and come within the system of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR. Palaces and Houses of Culture of trade union organizations are established by factory or plant (local) committees and are carried on their budgets. Houses of Creative and Scientific Intelligentsia (people working in the arts, education, and so on) come under the administration of the appropriate central committee of trade unions. Palaces and Houses of Culture in kolkhozes are organized by the kolkhozes and maintained on their funds. The USSR also has Houses of Officers and Palaces and Houses of Pioneers and Schoolchildren.

Day-to-day direction of the palaces and Houses of Culture is carried out by elected public boards or councils.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.