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THE HISTORY OF THEATRE IN PILSEN

German theatre plays in Pilsen were already documented in the late 18th century; Czech theatre started in Pilsen in 1818 (strolling companies, but mainly amateur attempts).

historie velke divadlo

Pilsen has had a special theatre building since 1832 (in 1830 Pilsen had 9,040 inhabitants). It was designed by Lorenzo Sachetti and stood on the corner of today's Riegrova Street and Sady Pětatřicátníků. The first show here was presented on 12.11.1832 but the first Czech production was not shown until 18 January 1835.

In 1890, when Pilsen had 50,221 inhabitants, the theatre building became inadequate. In 1894 - 1895 a plan for the construction of a new theatre was developed. The Grand Theatre was opened in September 1902. For the German minority, a German theatre in Goethova Street was built in 1869 (Small Theatre) and functioned until 1965 when the operetta and drama companies moved to The Chamber Theatre which was adapted, not very successfully, from a cinema hall. Within 70 years, the expansion of cultural life in Pilsen required the construction of 3 theatre buildings (1832, 1869, 1902). Since 1869, repertory theatre productions have been shown in our city in two theatre buildings.

The Chamber Theatre was created in 1965 by adapting the former cinema University built in the late 1930's. A partial solution to the theatre's operational problems was the opening of a temporary extension in April 1980 which, apart from rehearsal rooms and ballet and choir halls, also offered a new club studio stage.

In the late 1990's, the city had to deal with the issue of the unavoidable restoration of the unsuitable building of The Chamber Theatre and its extension. Soon the idea of building a new theatre started to seem as the most effective solution.  Its realisation was approved by the Pilsen Municipal Council in March 2012. The operation of The New Theatre started at the beginning of the 2014/2015 season.

The history of Pilsen theatre in dates

1798, 1805, 1806, 1814 – reports of theatre shows in Pilsen

1818 – first Czech theatre production
It was performed at various places: in the Knight Hall at the so-called German House on the Square, at the big auditorium of the City Hall or at various pubs (The Golden Eagle, The Archduke Ferdinand, The White Rose)

1832 – construction of the first theatre building – municipal theatre (on today's Riegrova Street)

1863 – extensive adaptation of the municipal theatre; in 1867 - purchase of the neighbouring house and permanent annexation; in the subsequent years - gradual maintenance and improvements of the theatre building that were unfortunately unable to remove the main defects

1869 – construction of a German theatre (Small Theatre) in Goethova Street

1902 – construction of a new municipal theatre (The Grand Theatre),
26 March - the old theatre building closes with the production of The Bartered Bride,
27 September - the new theatre opens with the production of Libuše

1965 – opening of The Chamber Theatre, adapted from the University Cinema,
4 December - theatre's opening ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of a permanent Czech theatre in Pilsen (JK Tyl: The Headstrong Woman)

1966 – operation of The Small Theatre closed

1977 – The Small Theatre demolished

1980 – opening of a temporary extension of The Chamber Theatre,
 opening of The Club Theatre

1981 – 1985 – renovation and extension of The Grand Theatre

2014 - opening of The New Theatre