“Energetic” building in Pripyat – Culture center than, and tourists’ mecca now

Chernobyl Focus | 29.6.2017

Imagine being a law-abiding Soviet citizen in 70-80’s. Where would you go to watch a theater play about upcoming bright future with communism, dance, having a friendly boxing match with a neighbor, reading, or watching handball? You might be surprised, but in Pripyat it all was the same place.


Palace of Culture “Energetic” – during the preparation of its construction, creators of the project cooperated with many companies. But, to the surprise of all experts, the paper version was quite different to the one in reality. For example, the facade of the building was completely changed. Few areas were added, such as a much larger lobby than planned, pool and a ring for boxing. An important fact (for the youth especially) is that the foyer resulted to be much wider than planned in the project too. In Soviet times there was local disco called “Edison 2”. Thus, it’s possible to say that DK Energetic in Pripyat was not that typical for that time.

In addition to the main destination – the house of culture, the palace included other components like a grocery store, pharmacy and department store, the gym, a small swimming pool etc.

It was holding large nation-wide concerts and performances of local kindergartens and schools pupils. In its library you could often find rare books, which were not available even in some Kiev libraries. The boxing ring and gym were used to host various local competitions, regional tournaments, football matches and boxing bouts. There were also two cinema halls in the Palace of Culture showing movies. Prometheus Cinema was located near by, but before it was built, Energetic was the main place where one could watch a movie.


The light effects of the title on the top was unique too. It consists of three words that were lighted in different colors. The first two words were highlighted in blue, and the name itself was burning red to attract the attention of others. According to the recollections of residents of the city of Pripyat, Energetic sign was lighted as following: the first two words were flashing, ceasing to shine sometimes, but the “Energetic” inscription glowed in a special way. First, every letter was light up individually and then the whole word was blinking. It looked very impressive, former residents mention. Even today, sometimes people come and try to endow the building with the previous glory by lighting up the famous letters.


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