enczsksiplhudeitsvhrespt
/ enMain menu 
Navigation:  Theatre Database
EN | CS

Drama Studio

Richard Brosche

alias cinema Revolution, cinema Alhambra
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1927 | construction

The house with a cinema hall was probably built in 1927 according to the design, which was signed by architect Richard Brotche from  Česká Lípa.


(detail)20. 's 20. century | cinema

Cinema Alhambra had a seat in the hall of the four storey building in Střekově since the end of the 1920s. The firm Wolframfilm that owned the cinema did not hesitate to invest half a million Crowns into a projector of talking pictures only a few weeks after the world’s premier and Střekov cinema Alhambra thus became the first place in the Czech Republic where talking pictures were projected.


(detail)70. 's 20. century | reconstruction

The theatre underwent large reconstruction not until 1970 because of the possibility to project in a “cinemascope” therefore wide-screen mode. Final approval of the reconstructed cinema was issued on 11th May 1971.


(detail)1981 | Conversion to a theatre

The Drama Studio moved into to the former cinema in Střekov in 1981, where is operational till now. The ensemble has realized the reconstruction of the hall and background with self-help from a larger part. The design was worked out by Rudolf Bergr and Josef Vrbata from Ústí Regional Design Institute  (RDI) in November 1981.


(detail)5.1.1982 | opening

The reconstructed hall was opened on 5th January 1982 by the premier of Three Sisters by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov under direction of Ivan Rajmont. Building approval for the first phase was issued in the end of March. The second phase began in January 1983 again according to the design by RDI.


(detail)1989 | reconstruction

In 1989, large reconstruction occurred concerning stage technological facilities having been designed already in 1987 by Karel Schovanec from the enterprise Divadelní technika o. p. Praha, závod Újezd u Brna ( the Theatre Technique Prague, company Újezd by Brno).


(detail)2002 | floods

Floods hit the theatre and its surroundings in 2002. The present appearance of the hall was designed by architects Zdeněk Šťastný and Jiří Kňákal (studio ARCH PROJEKT). The troupe returned to the renovated theatre in November 2004.


People

Jiří Kňákal |architect
Miloš Dolník |architect
Karel Schovanec |architect
Josef Vrbata |architect
(detail)Rudolf Bergr |architect

He was working most of his carrier in Krajský projektový ústav. He left the job in 1991 and founded his private atelier.

Source:

More theatres

History

The theatre hall of the Drama Studio, having been transformed from a cinema in 1981 and renovated again after floods in 2002, is located in a court extension of the house on the corner of Varšavská and Kozinova Street.

Cinema Alhambra had a seat in a hall of the four storey building in Střekov, an independent municipality at that time  promoted to be a city not until 1936 and adjoined to Ústí nad Labem since 1939) since the end of the 1920s. The firm Wolframfilm that owned the cinema and had offices in the house above it did not hesitate to invest a half  million Crowns into a projector of talking pictures only a few weeks after the world’s premier and Střekov cinema Alhambra thus became the first place in the Czech Republic where talking pictures were projected.

The house with a cinema hall was probably built in 1927 according to the design, which was signed by architect Richard Brotche from  Česká Lípa. The hall of an elongated trapezoid plan with a small rectangular stage was located in the court wing laid diagonally in the yard. It was surrounded by a balcony with a banister with an almost circular layout, with five rows of seats, with an array of boxes in the front and rear and with a row of seats on lateral sides. Visitors passed through a small vestibule in the ground floor, accessible from outside by a triple of doors in the rounded corner, and a foyer with segmental side walls, they could visit a cafe in the first floor in an oval parlour with an access to the balcony.

The facade of the parterre to Varšavská Street was articulated in the original appearance by columns between small windows in a recessed surface of the wall as it is till now on the left part of the house; it is not clear from which period comes the present layout of the right side with large display cases in the flat facade.

Rest rooms in the yard were being built in 1939 or 1940 and some minor adaptation of access area took place.

After the February coup d'état, cinema Alhambra became cinema Revolution, but otherwise kept its pre-war appearance apart some details. The only modification, documented in the building archive, is the balcony reconstruction in 1959. It was planned to tear down its lateral sides and to solve newly the banister due to detected breaches. Because it would have required long operational interruption and the beam of the new banister would deteriorate visibility and disturb the projecting ray. It was finally decided only to support the lateral sides of the balcony by steel corbels without interrupting cinema operation.

The theatre underwent large reconstruction not until 1970 because of the possibility to project in a “cinemascope” therefore wide-screen mode. New concrete flooring with increased elevation was installed in the auditorium. Lateral parts of the balcony were removed, hitherto boxes disappeared from the rear part of the balcony and a new banister was mounted onto reconstructed balcony with the rear wall newly shaped according to the curve line of rows of seats. The projection room was rebuilt and technical equipment was modernized. Final approval of the reconstructed cinema was issued on 11th May 1971, but removal of minor defects and   backlogs was prolonged up to September of the following year.

Transformation of the cinema into a theatre began in 1981, when the Municipal National Committee decided to hand over the building to the Drama Studio, one of the ensembles of the State Theatre of Zdeněk Nejedlý (STZN) in Ústí at that time.

The Drama Studio came into existence in 1972 from the remainders of abolished Kladivadlo. That was founded in Broumov in 1958 and settled down in Ústí after having performed in Kadaň. Only here it became professionalized, affiliated to STZN, was functioning another two years as an independent institution of the Regional National Committee and another two years as an only ensemble of the State Theatre Studio Prague outside Prague.

Politically unsuitable Kladivadlo was abolished in 1971, but it could continue under a different name. It was trying the name Slapstick for a few weeks, than Drama studio of the young and the ensemble entered into a season 1971/72 under the name Drama Studio, again as a  branch of STZN. The Studio at first played in Ústí in Theatre of Music in the complex of a chemical factory that functioned as a film club as well, and even on the grand stage of the Ústí theatre since 1978.

An interesting episode in the time of searching for  convenient space for the ensemble were thoughts about a theatre ship, anchored on Elbe,  brought even to a stage of studies, which were buried by negative attitude of the State Nautical Administration.

Therefore the Drama Studio moved into to the former cinema in Střekov in 1981, where is operational till now. The ensemble has realized the reconstruction of the hall and background with self-help from a larger part. The design worked out by Rudolf Bergr and Josef Vrbata from Ústí Regional Design Institute  (RDI) in November 1981. The podium stage was adapted in the front part of the hall, from which first three rows of seats disappeared, and a props storage room came into existence in a rectangular extension behind it, which were divided by a partition roughly in the place of the hitherto projection screen. A corridor was built to the right side of the auditorium, apart a passageway through the auditorium  the only connection between dressing rooms and background in the main building and the stage in the yard.   Minor modifications were carried out in the background.

The reconstructed hall was opened on 5th January 1982 by the premier of Three Sisters by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov under direction of Ivan Rajmont. Building approval for the first phase was issued in the end of March under a condition that the provisionally adjusted dressing rooms would be possible to use only for one season. The second phase began in January 1983 again according to the design by RDI. The permanent dressing rooms were finished, social facilities for actors, costume store room and extension by the stage were being reconstructed into the props storage room and assembly halls for actors. The rear part of the auditorium remained almost the same as in the era of the cinema including the balcony that was, however, not used and served as a storeroom. The auditorium had nine rows of  seats as well as it has today.

The adapted hall served to the studio for another several years. Only in 1989, large reconstruction occurred concerning stage technological facilities having been designed already in 1987 by Karel Schovanec from the enterprise Divadelní technika o. p. Praha, závod Újezd u Brna ( the Theatre Technique Prague, company Újezd by Brno). He designed transverse bridges from truncated trusses by the hall ceiling and lengthwise connecting footbridges, furthermore a hanging grid under bridges and the stage.

Scene-dock was adapted in 1995 – an extension by the rear wing (new store rooms), simultaneously the facade was renovated being given bottle green painting. A new rehearsal room came into existence by removal of the partition and rooms merging and two years later actors lodging house was built in the third and fourth floor according to the design by Miloš Dolník.

Floods hit the theatre and its surroundings in 2002. The swollen Labe reached the height of 1.3 m in the theatre; water completely destroyed the hall and other rooms as well and the damage mounted up to over two million Crowns. The troupe was left to provisional spaces in the complex of the chemical plant again. The city of Ústí nad Labem with help of Ministry of Culture and sponsors (Adra)  reconstructed the building in the subsequent years with total costs of 39 million Crowns; apart the ground floor, works touched the first two storeys with the operational background. The troupe returned to the renovated theatre in November 2004 after two years interruption.

The present appearance of the hall was designed by architects Zdeněk Šťastný and Jiří Kňákal (studio ARCH PROJEKT). They have arranged newly especially the auditorium area, from where the unused balcony disappeared; its space in the storey was occupied by light and sound cabins, hitherto located in the ground floor. An experimental character of the hall was highlighted by iron construction of the elevation with nine rows of seats set onto a flat floor of the hall and black colour of the walls and ceiling. Footbridges above the stage have remained in the appearance from the year 1989. The foyer with a bar has acquired a high-tech arrangement with unveiled tracing distribution under the ceiling. The same architects designed the repair and facade painting and exchange of windows and doors.

Present state

The building of Drama Studio stands in the north part of Střekov nearby Labe. A five story house on the corner of Varšavská and  Kozinova streets forms the south corner of a rectangular block of flats. The hall with an extension of a scene-dock forms an independent wing, diagonally inserted into the yard and concealed to view from the street.

The house ground floor is separated from storeys by a flat, running cornice. The round house corner is accentuated by a balcony in the first floor and by the most distinctive element, to the rear recessed front facade in the second and third floor. The first storey of the building is higher than upper floors, which racking above the central part has formed a small terrace. The central, corner part of the building has three bays in the first two storeys, recessing part above the terrace has two narrow windows on the sides and two larger ones in the centre in the second and third floor. A small balcony is in the third floor in the part above the terrace. The part on the left from the corner has three, the part on the right five window bays. Windows are rectangular, narrow cornices protrude from the facade surface in the first floor from them, they have a slightly sunk semicircular window lintel in the second floor. Running narrow cornice separates the third floor in the side parts.

Entrances in the outer bays lead to a staircase connecting building storeys and that is accentuated by different heights of windows on the landing and by elevated cornice under the last floor. The recessed part of the corner is dominated above the distinct cornice by a large dormer with a triple of windows under a triangular gable. The other parts of the building are covered by a rounded roof, with one on the left and with four small dormers on the right. The building has a broken white colour with gray cornices and window framing.

Spectators enter to the theatre from the south through a triple of the doors in the corner. A foyer is located behind a small vestibule with cloak rooms and rest rooms and with an access to a theatre bar on the right. There is an access directly to the auditorium through   doors in the bay.

The theatre hall holds the character of a studio scene. Similarly as the original cinema hall, into which it was built up, of the trapezium-shaped floor plan with a convex curved rear wall. Demountable metal construction with nine rows of seats stands on a flat floor. The auditorium has a capacity of 129 or 150 seats with additional seats.

The auditorium is completely without decoration, only in black colour. Lighting of the auditorium and stage is provided by reflectors hanged on the upper and side footbridges. The theatre does not have a classical proscenium arch, side walls and floor continuously verge into the stage area. That is 10 m wide in the location of the curtain, over 7 m in the rear with the depth of 7 m. The entering of  actors is possible form both the sides in the end of the side walls and by  doors on the right side of the auditorium from the front. The opening in the rear wall of the stage connects it with a props storage room.

The auditorium ceiling is intercepted by four bridges (four over the stage, one over the auditorium) from truncated trusses, arched between equally arranged side footbridges along the side walls that are accessible through  doors on the sides of a lighting and sound cabin in the first floor. A suspension grate is mounted under the footbridges above the stage.

There is a corridor along the left part of the auditorium connecting the stage with the background in the main building. Dressing rooms, offices, wardrobe etc. are located in the upper floors of the building and above the props store room behind the stage.

The house is owned by the city of Ústí nad Labem. The Drama Studio is an allowance organization of the municipality.

Sources and literature:

– Magistrát Ústí nad Labem, archiv stavebního úřadu, spis domu Střekov čp. 767

– Ludmila Schovánková (ed.), Činoherní studio – dvacet let, Ústí nad Labem 1992

– David Czesany (ed.), 30 let Činoherního studia, Ústí nad Labem 2002

 

Tags: chamber theatre, Interwar period, yard extension

 

Author: Iva Karásková

Translator: Jan Purkert

Additional information

No information has yet been entered

Add information

Name: The name will be published

Email: The email will not be published

Information: Please enter information about this theatre, at least 10 characters

threeminustwo=