Cinevilla is a backlot in the Tukums Municipality in Slampe parish, Latvia, and was created for the outdoor shootings of the feature film Defenders of Riga.
It is the only backlot in Latvia, and consists of replicas of historical buildings and constructions of Riga, the capital of Latvia. The backlot has a small canal to resemble the Daugava river quays of the Riga old town. The Stone Bridge is also there as well as the historical Lübeck and Pontoon bridges.
I first visited lovely Cinevilla townlet at the end of June 2018 and was more than surprised of how realistic things are done here.
One of the many pavilions at Cinevilla
There is a huge parking lot at film town and the entry fee inside the territory was something like EUR 3
at Cinevilla filmtown
Cinevilla is now a major tourist attraction and is the only such large-scale open-air cinema exhibition in the Baltic States. In 2008, Jānis Streičs shot the film Rudolf's Gold on the lot, simulating a Kurzeme farmstead.
Quite realistic mock-up
Cinevilla is a unique tourist attraction in Latvia with an extensive organization of events, filming and entertainment options.
Poppies at Cinevilla
Filmtown Cinevilla Studio is the only open-air cinema in the Baltic States and the largest in Northern Europe.
Mock-up for Russian Revolution (1917)
Briefly about Filmtown:
150 hectares in total, large-scale scenery covers about 15 hectares, which consists of 3 main parts:
City – Riga; Suburb / Town – Pārdaugava; Rudolph Territory Complex;
Filmtown is the 4th Latvian city which has its own tram line
- Located close to the capital Riga, as well as other historical Latvian cities – Tukums, Talsi, Kuldiga, Liepaja
- Specializing in the early 20th century scenery (World War I and World War II)
- Two filming pavilions
- Vintage steam locomotive and passenger railcars
- 60 m long railway platform
- River Daugava and three historic bridges
- Hotel “Hotel Cinevilla”
Mock-up for The Pagan King (Nameja gredzens)
Construction of the backlot began in 2004 for the shooting of the Defenders of Riga – a film about the freedom battles in 1919, when both the Germans and Russians were trying to annihilate the newly-independent Republic of Latvia, established just in November 1918. To date, several Latvian feature films have been shot at the backlot, including Rudolfs’ Gold, Dream Team 1935, and a number of foreign films.