Arman Alma-Ata. Origins
The "Arman Alma-Ata" project was born 5 years ago through the efforts of a group of architects, "Atomik Architecture", along with the producer Nargiz Shukenova and the graphic designer Dastan Bissenov. The aim of the project was to start a discussion on the importance of preserving the city's architectural heritage.
The first stage of the project was held in July, 2014. A workshop on the current state of historical buildings in Almaty, built in the era of Soviet modernism, was held with students from local architecture schools.

During the three days of the workshop, students explored three themes - Reimagine, Refurbish, and Reuse - which are applicable to residential areas, the Arman Cinema and the Almaty Home-building Factory. Teams defended their concepts based on an analysis of the current situation with respect to the facilities (location, infrastructure, population, etc.).
In the summer of 2014, a meeting with the architect Almas Ordabayev was also held at the cafe Nedelka.
The next stage of the "Arman Alma-Ata" project was a multimedia exhibition put together as part of Almaty Day celebrations. Projections, animations and music allowed everyone's favorite image of the city to be recreated, with its iconic buildings, apple orchards and irrigation ditches flush with mountain water.
The exposition included archival photographs, videos and drawings from the funds of the State Archive of Scientific and Technical Documentation of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Central State Archive of Film and Photo Documents and Sound Records of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The project team, in close collaboration with the Kasteyev State Museum of Art, selected reproductions of paintings by famous Kazakh artists. Akmaral Zykayeva produced the music for the exhibition.
In the summer of 2015, a series of urban plein-airs for residents of the city were held at the "Artpoint" pavilion.
The "Arman Alma-Ata" project was supported from the very beginning by the Arman Cinema, the British Council Kazakhstan, the Almaty History Museum, the State Archive of Scientific and Technical Documentation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Central State Archive of Film and Photo Documents and Sound Records of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kasteyev State Museum of Art, KazGASA, Goethe-Institut Kasachstan, √Čtage, "Nedelka" cafe, Mergen, Forbes, Arsen Rysdauletov, Akmaral Zykayeva, Daniyar Suleimenov, and Saule Imanova.

In 2018, a new chapter began in the history of this project, as the foundation "Urban Forum Kazakhstan" began new research, searching for information about the lost crown that once topped the cinema. The initiative was supported by the Goethe Institute Kazakhstan.
Photographs provided by Asel Yeszhanova and Dastan Bisenov