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MOSCOW, April 1 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Club of the Funny and Inventive known as the KVN has got its own building at the former Havana cinema house. Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony on Monday. He opened it with a joke. “An artist should be poor if he wants to create great things,” Putin said to the roar of applause. Putin arrived at the opening of the KVN House in the end of his working day on Monday to see a show prepared by the best KVM teams and greet all KVN fans and participants on the housewarming.
Putin said it was not his initiative to organize a scenic stage for the Club of the Funny and Inventive. It took slightly more than a year to rebuild the former Havana cinema house. Putin said it had become possible because Moscow had a good manager and a man of word. In turn, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who was also present at the housewarming ceremony, addressed a compliment to Putin, saying they would have been unable to finish the work so quickly if it had not been for interference on the part of the president.
"The KVN house appeared on the big map not because of us but thanks to the authors of this program. They have been working on it for many years and have turned it into the most powerful mass youth movement,” Putin said in conclusion.
It took the Moscow authorities slightly more than a year to fulfill Vladimir Putin’s order to rebuild the former Havana cinema house into a KVN house. The Russian president has been a long-standing fan of this funny student game. He attended the KVM games three times in 2004 and 2006 and also in 2011 when he was the prime minister. After one of those visits, Putin met the KVN club President Alexander Maslyakov. He promised to give the Club its own place.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin suggested that the Havana cinema house be handed over to the KVN Club. Putin visited the construction site a year ago.
Today, the hall can accommodate 800 people.
Albert Akselrod, Mikhail Yakovlev and Sergei Muratov invented “The Club of the Funny and Inventive” program in 1961. In 1971, the Soviet authorities banned the program for its sharp humor and satire on the main topics of the day. The program reappeared on air only in 1986. Alexander Maslyakov has been the Club’s president and host since 1965.
Putin believes that being on the wave of success and on air for over 50 years is unbelievable for the world of mass media.
“I am particularly pleased that this is a domestic intellectual product,” the Russian head of state said earlier. Putin added he was happy that more than a thousand student teams participated in the KVN games. “This is not just an ordinary program. This is a mass youth movement,” the president emphasized.
Hundreds of KVN fans gathered in the renovated building of the former Havana cinema house which still smells of paint. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin took their seats in the 10th row of the stalls.
The best seven KVN teams took part in the concert. They showed their best acts from previous programs such as scenes “An Exam in Physics”, “Vladimir Putin and a Lada car designer” and “A Court Hearing in Kamyzyaka.” The artists showed several new scenes meant for Putin: an unexpected school inspection, the work of a cleaning lady in a Kremlin office and performance by a music group which distantly resembles Putin’s favourite group Lyube. The president laughed and applauded together with the audience.
There were also jokes on the housewarming theme. As a rule, the teams came with gifts.
In the end, all the teams went on stage and sang the final closing song written for the occasion. President Putin and the hall applauded the reassuring and life-asserting tune.