Sergei Isaevich Utochkin (1876-1916) – one of the first Russian pilots, football-players, cyclers, car and motorcycle racer of the early twentieth century. By his own admission, Utochkin engaged in fifteen sports! Outstanding results in cycling (14 wins in national and overseas races) were combined with successes in boxing, fencing, running, swimming, and soccer (he was the first Russian player of Odessa British Athletic Club). “Academic of sport”, as he was called by Chukovsky, Utochkin was, as we say now, extreme. He was an excellent driver, and once he slid on the car down the Potemkin stairs from the boulevard to the port. One of the first, he has brought skating to Odessa. He was the first one who had the bike in Odessa. Some people told that he passed the Gorbatiy’s bridge top supports on his bike!
But the main hobby for Sergei Isaevich was ballooning, later – aviation. He managed his first balloon flight in October 1, 1907. In December of that year he flies over the Egyptian pyramids. March 31, 1910 Utochkin managed first flew on an airplane, and became the second aviator in Russia (the first was Mikhail Yefimov). His first flight, he carried on Farman biplane owned by banker S. Ksidias. In total, Sergei Utochkin made about 150 flights. Repeatedly his planes were wrecked; the heaviest accident occurred in July 1911 during a flight from St. Petersburg to Moscow.
Writer Kuprin, a friend of Utochkin, wrote about their meeting: “I met him in Odessa, on Bolshy Fontan, in the summer of 1904 and since then has never been able to imagine Utochkin without Odessa and Odessa without Utochkin.”
In winter 1915 S.Utochkin caught a cold and died of pneumonia in the hospital of St. Nicholas, it happened in 1916 on New Year’s Eve (January 13 on the Gregorian calendar). Great odessite buried in St. Petersburg, St. Nicholas cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
Monument to Sergei Utochkin established on 2 September 2001 in the City Garden near the former cinema “Utoch-kino.” A.V.Tokarev was a sculptor, and an architect was V.L.Glazyrin. There you can see an athlete, whichc thinks about something, launching a paper airplane in the sky.
The place for the monument is not accidental. Herer, in the house of Isakovich, built in the 1880 (architect Zh.L.Gofman) S.Utochkin 1913 opened the first movie theater in Odessa in October, named it “Utoch-kino.” Brothers Leonid and Nikolai Utochkin carried it out. In Soviet times, a cinema called “Red litun” (“Red Pilot” – 1925), “Red railwayman” (1932), was named on behalf of S.Utochkin theater (since 1941), called “Oltenia” (during the Romanian occupation), “Zoldatenkino” (in the last months of the occupation, when the Germans were driven out of the Romanians), cinema Mayakovsky (since 1956). After a fire in 1998 it was closed. An attempt was made to restore it, and since 2000 there operated a cinema called “Kino Utochkino.” But in late 2008, it was closed again, and seems to have finally. The main reason – it’s the law about translation all films in the Ukrainian language – and this lead to the fact that cinema has begun to yield losses.