In 1981, with the opening of the National Palace of Culture, many accompanying entertainment venues opened their doors Two of them are located in the central underpass of the Palace, opposite to the “Cosmos” fountain, better known as “The Balls”. On the site of today’s Sofia Live Club, there was a disco known as the “Cafe Theatre”, which was a gathering point for Sofia’s elite at the time. The venue was open at night and gathered a huge audience for several years until an accident caused the authorities to change the opening hours and so the “Cafe-Theatre” began to work only between 7 pm and 11 pm. However, the bar continues to attract fans of contemporary Western music, who usually continue their party in one of the discos at Vitosha blvd.


After the fall of the regime, Vasil Iliev, the founder of VIS, became the owner of the bar. In the spring of 1991 it opened its doors with the name “Nero”, inspired by the eccentric Roman emperor of the same name who, according to legend, burned down his own capital. Since its opening, “Nero” has managed to gather the capital’s party crowd and even the VIS people party there. Regularly, there were so many people wanting to get in that there were queues at the entrance. Monday was one of the loudest days while the unexpected “ladies night” was gathering over a thousand people on the dance floor. Giorgio B was a resident DJ, bringing the modern electronic sound to the country for the first time ever, and the interior was luxury never seen before. Although it has only existed for 4 years, Nero has left a lasting mark on the Sofia party scene.

The other nightclub in the area was a disco called “The Bowling”. The name comes from the bowling alley next to it. Today, on the site of the hall there is a billiards club “Stix”. A few years after its opening, “The Bowling” got the name “The Hole”. The place was among the most popular of its time and the DJs were top class. In order to be appointed, a DJ had to take part in a competition in which several other applicants took part. The judgment was the responsibility of Khacho Boyadzhiev, who listened to each artist and made the final decision. Some of the first and most popular native DJs like Chavdar Dobrev – DJ Chadoo, Teddy Lakev and the younger Zhoro Blagoev – DJ Giorgio B and Vasil Novakov played music in “The Hole”.  


The articles for the project “NDK is #soSofia” were developed by Viktor Topalov, author at “Bohemian Sofia” in collaboration with the #soSofia team. 

The project uses visual archives from the National Film Centre, the State Agency “Archives”, the Bulgarian Visual Archive and information from the following sources: 


Miloshev, Yordan, NDK – memories of builders | Sp. 1 – 1982, 6 – 1984, 3-4 – 1986 | Mircheva, Simona, Palace in the Life of the City | Tromkov, Ilia. National Palace of Culture “Lyudmila Zhivkova” | Milev, Ivo. “The Life and Death of Lyudmila Zhivkova | BNT. Aleksandrova, Albena. Kovachev, Oleg. Study of beauty from within | Interview – Gyurov, Vasil. Gyurov, Konstantin. Places of everyday life. Cravaai. | Langova, Sonya. Shofelinov, Ivan. Cohen, Emil. Film – We from Kravay. | Trifonova, Teodora. BTV News. 18.07.2017 Ready project for the soldiers’ memorial has been there for years. | Veselinov, Veselin. Liternet. Memorial to the fallen of the 1st and 6th infantry regiments. | NDK Press Center | | | Thank you for talking to the NDK teams. | All Day NDK. | DJ GIORGIO. | Sofia Graffiti Tour.


The NDK is #soSofia project is realized with the support of the Cultural Heritage Entrepreneurship Programme of the National Culture Fund and the help of our loyal friends from Storytel, Fashion Days, Beefeater and DEVIN.


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