About Ponrepo Cinema

Ponrepo is the cinematheque of the Národní filmový archiv, Prague. It is housed in a historically valuable refectory of a boarding school, Konvikt, in Prague’s Old Town. In the 14th century it was the location of the Jerusalem House with Chapel of Mary Magdalene, which was founded after 1375 by Jan Milíč for penitent women. Later it was the venue of an organ school, one of whose pupils was Antonín Dvořák, who became the school’s director after graduation.

The Konvikt Hall became one of the main cultural centres of Prague in late 18th and 19th century. Many prominent Czech and foreign musicians performed here, including Ludwig van Beethoven, who played there in 1798, Franz Liszt, Anton Rubinstein, Richard Wagner, Czech violin virtuosos Ferdinand Laub and František Ondříček, and the pianist and composer Jan Ladislav Dusík. Balls and occasional theatre performances and exhibitions were held here. The Hall entered history with the first Czech National Revival ball held on 5 February 1840. The initiator of the ball was Josef Kajetán Tyl supported by young poets (Karel Sabina, Václav Bolemír Nebeský, and others). The ball was not only a great social success, at the same time, it was a political act which found its followers across the country. Let us recall that in 1883 a new ballroom dance, Czech Beseda, was introduced there on the initiative of Jan Neruda.

In modern times Prague inhabitants started to go to the then very popular cinema, BIO KONVIKT. After 1945, the modified auditorium housed the puppet film studio of Jiří Trnka, who made the Czech film industry famous throughout the world.

In the seventies KONVIKT, as the whole complex is called, was in a state of disrepair and several emergency notifications were issued. It was therefore decided to totally renovate the building following a prior architectural and archaeological survey. The total renovation was not carried out, however. It was only in 1996 that Konvikt returned to its original form and cultural function.
Ponrepo is a cinema of the Národní filmový archiv, Prague in which films from the collections are mainly screened.