That would be «дверь в гла́вном за́ле». You use accusative case for directions (into, to) and prepositional case for locations (in).
Modern Russian does not have a separate Locative case except for a (relatively) limited number of short masculine nouns (e.g., в лесу, на мосту, в порту, в аэропорту, на пиру, на берегу). For everything else Prepositional and Locative are the same thing.
зал is Accusative here. When we state where the door leads, we treat the expression as directional, so we use the Accusative with в and на.
- Old East Slavic did not have the "Prepositional" case, it had Locative. Also, it could have been used without any prepositions, so they would not call it a "prepositional" case anyway.
- the name "prepositional" does not mean anything except that this is the only form that has no standalone uses without a preposition attached.
That's an odd phrase in English. The preposition "into" usually implies active motion, whereas "to" usually expresses only direction or destination. Consider the difference between "I'm going to the main hall" and "I'm going into the main hall". The first implies the hall is your destination and you are on your way, but the action of "going" is entirely in the verb, and the preposition shows the direction (towards the hall). The second implies you are currently going through the entrance. There is an additional component of active transition between being outside and being inside which is carried by the word "into".
Additionally, the word "into" requires a verb for it to augment. You can "look into my eyes" or "go into the room" or "be into pop music", but you don't have a "lid into the box" and you don't look for the "path into greatness".
I disagree quite strongly. "Into" is not odd at all in this sentence. "The door to a room" does not imply actually using the door, but simply differentiates it from doors to other places. "Into" on the other hand implies possible movement into the specific room. This distinction is particularly relevant because one of the differences between Accusative and Prepositional в is that Accusative involves movement.
When actually using the door to enter the room, "Door to the room" can fairly be interpreted as a shortened form of "Door into the room".
A verb is not required to be present when it is implied, as it is by the idea of a "door into" anywhere.
Duo should accept both "in" and "into" here.
[ a / the door ] without door in/determinate context provided. [ of the numerous main hall doors, this door is from stage left ]
[ is a door to the main hall ] ‧ [ door leads to the auditorium ] ‧ [ this door gives access to the main hall ]
[ This door opens onto the stage ] ‧ [ That door opens onto the platform ] ‧ [ These doors open into the main auditorium ] ‧ [ This door goes into the hallway. That door goes into the utility room. This door gets you into the garage. ]
It is still used like that in many places (confirmed regions include Siberia and Russian Far East, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Pskov, Bashkiria). Some use зала, which is generally considered an old-fashioned variant. Both will sound funny for a speaker from Moscow or St. Petersburg, where зал is used for large enclosed rooms, often public spaces (though not always: a dancing hall in a mansion would also be зал—if you are that rich). 140 square feet is not my definition of a large chamber.
I definitely heard it used by Kazakhstan speakers naturally, so the term is very much alive.
I think, this usage might have been universal. If you think about it, it would have made sense to call a large room in your house a "chamber" or a "hall". It is just that later many cities in the Central Russia switched to other words. Makes sense to me, too, because the largest room I ever had in an apartment I lived in was 185 square feet.
футы? God no! The closest indeed was локоть, though I doubt many people know this unit nowadays. There was also аршин (about 70 cm), пядь (about 18 cm), вершок (about 4 cm) and сажень (a little over 2 m). As usual, convenient for approximate measurements and not quite convenient for calculations or conversions (especially if you use decimal numbers).
I meant the area of about 17 m². It is quite easy to see for yourself, actually. Housing in most cities and towns is comprised mostly of Soviet or early post-Soviet standard buildings, so if you know the type of the building you know the floor plan.
There were quite a few standardized projects but looking at a few gives you a rough idea what a typical apartment's layout looks like. The largest room rarely exceeds 19 m²; when it does it very often provides access to one of the bedrooms, i.e. essentially is a room combined with a hallway. It is usually around 14–16 m², slightly larger in late Soviet projects and might occasionally get larger in modern apartments.
- I guess, people's habits and objective usability and insolation concerns give you an upper bound. For example, a dining room much bigger than 5×5 or a bedroom bigger than 4×5 will hardly provide any value unless you have money you have nothing to do with (especially if the room only has one window). Or maybe it will but you have to use the interiour very differently from how you do it in a smaller apartment.
- by the way, a bedroom in a block of flats cannot have a WC attached to it. The current regulations explicitly forbid such layouts.
In Spanish we use the archaic word for room (sala) for living room nowadays. More formally, you can say 'sala de estar' which literally means 'being room', the place to just be and not do anything else in particular. The use here in Russian 'main room' [главный зал]) reminds me of how we use it in Spanish because the word зал is phonetically similar to sala. I imagine in Russia most houses' livingrooms are near the entrance of the house, and also the place where connection to most of the rest of the house happens, therefore 'main' hall. Also in English we use the word hall sometimes for a hallway.
As far as I can tell from the plans shown at the construction companies' sites, the living room is just a room. Sometimes it will be closer to the entrance (and even serve as a place to get to other rooms), sometimes it will be pretty far. Usually the living room is accessed from the hall, just like any other room on the ground floor. I cannot say anything about old wooden houses.
The majority of Russian population live in cities and towns anyway.
"Central", without more, means "at the center of". "Main" means "primary", wherever it is located, center, right, left, at the back, at the front, etc.
"Central" can mean "primary" in the right context, as in "The central point of his lecture was....", which implies a concept surrounded by various ancillary ideas. But not here.