Feb 152009


What’s the deal with these padded doors in Russian movies? Here’s the door of the Director’s office in Sluzhebnyiy Roman (Office Romance) a 1977 movie.


And here’s a door to an apartment, in “Moskva slezam ne verit”, a 1979 film. And there are many others to be found. I have questions, assuming these types of doors were found in real life and not just in the movies.

  • When did that style of door get started?
  • What materials are used?
  • Why have padded doors at all?
  • Is that still a common style? If not, when did it end?
  • Is/was it just a Russian thing, or were those found in other countries as well?

I suppose I could answer some of those questions myself by paying closer attention to the dates of movies I’m watching.


  • Jack

    I am reading Robert Ludlum’s “Tristan Betrayal.” He mentions these doors. Says they were to prevent ease dropping by security police and informers. It won’t be long and we will be using them here. Schools, I have heard, want children to inform on their parents.

  • David

    When I was younger (during the 70’s) I was in a doctor’s office that had orange padding on the door much the same as the padding shown in the screen captures above. I’m guessing it was for privacy and sound-proofing. I’ve never seen any doors since with padding. In a modern office they would be useless anyway since sound now drifts through drop ceilings from room to room anyway. Just to add I live in Canada – since the OP asked if these doors were used only in Russia or in other countries.

  • Olga Nedosekina

    Hi, I don’t think that this question is still important for you, but this is my 5 kopeek.

    I don’t know when it started, but this fashion was in full mode in 80th when I grew up. Now it can be found only if the owners did’t change doors since then. It was just the way everybody did it. A door to a flat was made not of wood but of plywood, so to make it look more solid and prevent from loosing warmth in winter it was nessesary to make it this way (to change a door usually). The material was leatherette and something for insulation like wadding. Default doors were plain plywood, so only those who were beyong care of what it looks like left it like there.
    Later in 90th the fashion of second steel doors came. Dark times. Now it is common to put just a one still door looking as it is just a solid wood.

  • Thanks for the reply and the information. I did not know about the plywood doors. Padding for insulation is something I can easily understand.