When Russian people talk about movie theatres, they will usually say "cinema"; if they talk about "theatres", they mean live performances.
During Soviet times there was a well developed system of community work and in every group (class at school, department at work etc) would be also a person responsible for sport, education, political information of the group etc.
This is how most Russian people have developed their taste for live performances.
Movie theatres are also becoming popular in Russia and they are equipped with the latest sound systems.
This is why they maintain more friendships than an average westerner.
They often have to rely on their friends to help them out.
Russians are also big fond of live performances at theatres and since tickets are affordable (prices in cinemas and theatres are comparable), they enjoy attending theatres: opera, musical, ballet, drama etc. The theatre culture was developed during the Soviet times when tickets were sold through schools and enterprises: cities were divided into areas and there was a theatre agent responsible for each particular area.
Russian saying is, "One is not a soldier in the battlefield".
In Russia, one still needs to know people in power to make things work.