A Moscow charity, supported by city officials, has opened a cinema for homeless people in the Russian capital which screens comedies and offers snacks.

Photographs of the event published in local newspapers on Monday, showed men and women of all ages laughing boisterously as they watched a slapstick Soviet classic, the Moscow Times reported.

Ahead of the first screening on Sunday, the audience was provided with hot meals and cups of teas, and discussed the problems facing homeless people in the city.

Local official Igor Abramov tweeted: "On July 19 in Moscow, a summer cinema was opened for homeless people, and will screen once a month Soviet movies." 

The outdoor makeshift cinema will remain open in a state-owned site near the metro station Krasnoselskaya throughout the summer.

The initiative was organised by an NGO called Friends on the Streets.

"More than anything we have a dream to change attitudes towards homeless people, because they are often abused and mistreated, and it is very hard for them to live," Natalia Markova, a volunteer with the NGO, said. 

"We have great plans, we want to organise a beauty salon for the homeless. Next Saturday we will play football," she told the Reuters news agency.

Lyuba, a homeless person in Moscow, was one of the cinema attendees.

"They feed us and [give out] clothes, and medicine, the ambulance arrives every day and provides help for everyone, with high blood pressure, headache, stomachache and so on," she said.

Russia's homeless make up about two percent of Russia's population.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies