Sergei Eisenstein Memorial House
A unique museum dedicated to the famed Soviet director and other cinema greats.
An old railway station in Latvia has been converted into a quirky cinema museum, the Sergeja Eizenšteina Komunikāciju centrs, or Sergei Eisenstein Memorial House, dedicated to the work of the pioneering Soviet director it’s named for, as well as other legends of filmmaking.
Eisenstein, who is best-known for his silent films Strike and Battleship Potemkin and his innovations with the montage format, was born in Latvia but lived in different places during his life. He studied to be an engineer but became intrigued by Kabuki theatre, and entered the world of performance and films.
It is said that Eisenstein once claimed he could script a film out of even a telephone book. The creators of the museum ran with this, and designed a hall with walls covered from end to end by pages from phone books. A small corner includes a vintage phone installed next to a list of famous phone numbers from the world of cinema.
If you want to let Akira Kurosawa or Ingmar Bergman know what you really thought of their films, pick up the phone and search out the number. Or if you’re more old-fashioned and would instead like to write a letter to the directors, there’s a set of mailboxes on the grounds of the museum where you can drop in your epistles.
The grounds are also marked with a 19-foot-tall table and proportionately sized chairs, seemingly unrelated to filmmaking, but offering an excellent observation point.
Know Before You Go
The museum is open Tuesday through Thursday from 9 AM to 5 PM, and on Fridays and Saturdays between 9 AM and 5:30 PM. Lunch break is between 1 and 2 PM.
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