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Tyl's Theatre Lomnice nad Popelkou

Oldřich Liska

history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1827 | Foundation of theatrical association

(detail)1859 | First theatre stage

The opening of the new hall was procured by a performance of the play Svéhlavost (Stubbornness) on 21st November of 1859. The stage served well up to destructive fire that broke out on 29th August of 1862 and consumed the building of the municipal hall apart of forty houses.


(detail)60. 's 19. century | construction

The foundation stone was laid on 2nd May of 1864 for construction of a new town hall in the location of the previous house of a town hall enlarged by the neighbouring plot that was bought by mayor Vincenc  Mastný with the condition that a hall for theatre purposes would emerge in the new town hall structure.


(detail)15.4.1866 | Opening

A ceremonial performance on 15th April of 1866 opened the hall that served to theatricals up to the construction of the modern Tyl’s Theatre.


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

The City Saving Bank offered a part of a plot in the locality of so called Na hrázi to the amateur actors with a proposal that both the new buildings would be architecturally arranged in a same style. The theatrical association complied with the offer. Oldřich Liska, an architect from Hradec Králové, was commissioned to elaborate the design of a saving bank and theatre building.


(detail)1929 | Construction
The execution of theatre construction, initiated on 23rd of September 1929 by admeasurement of the construction site and excavating, was assigned to the firm of Lomnice builder Václav Slaba, with cooperation of another local enterprise of local builder Fr. Kovář.
(detail)27.9.1930 | opening
Construction was interrupted during the winter season; it was resumed on the 26th April of 1930, and it rapidly moved to its completion on 27th September of 1930, when the new construction was finished including the complete inner equipment with cinematographic apparatus.
(detail)1975 | Reconstruction

People

(detail)Oldřich Liska |main architect

Architect , the author of many interesting designs and their realizations mostly in Hradec Králové. In his pieces it is possible to observe the spirit of the modernism, decorativismus of the cubismus, but the inclination to purism as well, eventually funkcionalism in the moderate version.

Source: Archiweb

More theatres

Václav Slaba |builder

History

The building stands northwards nearby the city centre.

The first Czech performance in Lomnice nad Popelkou took place in 1827, when the Theatrical Association was founded. More regular activity was demonstrated by theatricals not before the end of the 1850s, when they found their first permanent theatrical stage in a room in the first floor of the rear part of the old town hall in the last third of 1859 as they were supported by the municipal administration with burgomaster Šlechta as its chairman. The former flat was adapted into a theatre hall with a side gallery by tearing down partitions with their own help and with financial donations of numerous sympathizers. The reconstruction costs were 421 Guldens and 79 Kreuzers; the opening of the new hall was procured by a performance of the play Svéhlavost (Stubbornness) on 21st November of 1859. The stage served well up to destructive fire that broke out on 29th August of 1862 and consumed the building of the municipal hall apart of forty houses. Only the curtain and several set pieces had been saved of the theatre equipment. Lomnice amateur actors performed several plays on provisionally adapted stages already in the following year after that catastrophe, mainly in houses of its members (in Karlov by Háků, the present N. 203 in Antala Staška Street; later in the mill house Na podměstí).  A foundation stone was laid on 2nd May of 1864 for construction of a new town hall in the location of the previous house of a town hall enlarged by a neighbouring plot that was bought by mayor Vincenc  Mastný with a condition that a hall for theatre purposes would emerge in the new town hall structure. A ceremonial performance on 15th April of 1866 opened the hall with an elevated stage and an auditorium with a flat floor with nine fixed rows of seats, several rows of free chairs behind a side aisle and a suspension balcony. The hall served to theatricals up to the construction of the modern Tyl’s Theatre except for a short disagreement with the city in the autumn of 1875, when the municipal authority had the entrances to the theatre be sealed and the Theatrical Association built a new provisional stage in a hall of the inn U Sokola.

New lighting ramps were installed in the hall in 1885-1886 as well as the trap room was  adapted, the auditorium ceiling was elevated and Prague painter Roman Skála painted new scenery for the theatre – all this for a cost of 1047 Guldens. Electrical lightning was used for the first time in the theatre in 1889 (power supply was secured by the  local firm Josef Horák; the Association spent an amount of 700 Guldens for it), the first performance with electrical lightning was The Bagpiper of Strakonice by J.K. Tyl on 26th and 27th  of December. Power supply was cut off for the theatre hall in 1893 and amateur actors played again by oil lamps. The theatricals experienced more and more the inconvenient room of the hall with the proceeding of the 1890s (an insufficiently deep stage, confined room of the backstage) and its inadequate background (confined dressing rooms). An idea of founding a fund emerged in 1895 concerning construction of their own theatre building, however, its wealth was growing only very slowly ( it was only 92 Crowns in 1906),  because the Association was obliged officially to return substantial amounts to charitable and other purposes from profits of every performance. In December of 1896, painter Skála provided a new curtain for the theatre hall with a patriotic motif of Libuše foretelling the future glory of Prague for a price of 35 Guldens and 16 Kreuzers. Acetylene lighting was installed in the hall in 1902 and was later replaced by permanent electrical lightning not before the era of the Czechoslovakian independent state in 1922. A revival of the plan for construction of a theatre building occurred in 1925, when Lomnice factory owner Václav Hornych donated a plot for theatre construction of 2064 m2 surface area.

The city commenced to contribute to the newly founded building fund annually, the District Executive Committee donated an amount of 30.000 Crowns for this purpose, other financial gifts came from individuals. A building committee, founded in October of 1928, informed the membership of the Association that theatre construction for 320 spectators (and with a stage 15 meters wide and 13 meters deep) would cost approximately 600.000 Crowns and its furnishing perhaps 200.000 Crowns. The amateurs actors wanted an indispensable loan to be paid off from profits of a cinema, they applied for licensing for its operation to the local authorities and this was issued to them. Concurrently with preparations for theatre construction, a new building construction was being prepared by the City Saving Bank, which offered a part of a plot in the locality of so called Na hrázi (it concerned a filled part of a pond that was used before by the Lomnice brewery) to the amateur actors with a proposal that both the new buildings would be architecturally arranged in the same style for the sake of the city appearance. The theatrical association complied with the offer for the plot was located in the close vicinity of the city centre – against the construction site donated by Lomnice factory owner Václav Hornych. Oldřich Liska, an architect from Hradec Králové, was commissioned to elaborate the design of a saving bank and theatre and his first design planned a capacity of 450 seats that increased the calculated disbursements to an inadmissible amount of 900.000 Crowns (without furniture). The theatricals asked the designer for adjusting the design so its realization would not exceed the sum of 700.000 Crowns. The execution of theatre construction, initiated on 23rd of September 1929 by a survey of the construction site and excavating, was assigned to the firm of Lomnice builder Václav Slaba, with cooperation of another local enterprise of local builder Fr. Kovář.

The construction was interrupted during the winter season; it was resumed on the 26th April of 1930, and it rapidly moved forward to its completion on 27th September of 1930, when the new construction was finished including the complete inner equipment with cinematographic apparatus. The total costs (including furnishings) was 1.023.088 Kč. Stage decoration including technical equipment was provided by the firm Fert from Brno- Husovice, a delivery of lightning technical equipment for the stage was provided by the Prague firm  Vohralík. A farewell to the theatre hall in the municipal hall took place by performance on 24th August of 1930 ( the play Her system by Josef Štolba was performed).

The reconstruction of the entrance vestibule concluded the first phase of the reconstruction of the Tyl’s Theatre in 1975 and the United Club of Workers was constituted, under which theatrical troupe Tyl was operating. A reconstruction of the stage and auditorium was carried out on the beginning of the 1980s.

Present state

The complex of the Tyl’s Theatre building is composed of a series of several prismatic volumes, attached to each other in an additive manner or mutually penetrating, partially united by  integrated casing combining diaper work and smooth and bright lime plaster. The front facade of the theatre has an appearance of an austere, puristic coulisse, cambered distinctly in the central part. A parterre with a three bay entrance, moderately recessed behind the  facade face and being composed of a triple of partially glass two leaf doors, to which a wide five level staircase is conducted, is separated from higher storeys by a distinctly projecting cornice. The cornice runs into a flat  canopy roof of the entrance in the central part. There is one double-hung window on each side of the entrance bringing natural light to cash desks, located behind the doors. Brick bond with decorative texture fills the exceeded central part with relief, in white painted frame - apart for a plastered band,  embossed in rim, lined up from vertical glass panels. An inscription: Tyl’s Theatre is executed in an embossed style on the plastered flat below the glass band. The foundation horizontal prism is defined by “naked” diaper facade; contrariwise,  in white plastered brickwork  defines the minor side blocks and the exceeded volume of the fly loft with a couple of attics wall. The rear wall of the fly loft is broken by a set of small windows in the upper part. In the axis of the stage, the ending of the inter-war building was later complemented by one storey volume with a flat roof and plaster facade in the parterre and complemented by yellowish- ochre tile cladding with oblong windows. The extension served for utilitarian expansion of the theatre background. This part, extended into 5. Května Street, is opened up by a couple of  large two leaf gates.

Interior

A transversely laid vestibule with a cloak room, terrazzo floor and timber panelling on the walls is located behind the door and behind cash desks, specularly laid. On the left side, the vestibule leads into a two flight staircase into the first floor bringing the spectator to a balcony. Entrances to the hall are symmetrically distributed in the front wall of the vestibule on the sides (the doors of both the entrances are stuffed because of acoustical reasons). An rectangular hall has a moderately ascending floor with total of 15 rows of seats. A projection cabin is inserted behind the last row under the balcony, its panelling from timber panels is broken by two horizontal windows. Both the longitudinal walls of the hall are panelled in the lower part, a linear abstract colourful composition embellishes the white plaster bands on both the sides of the auditorium above the cladding. An oblong proscenium arch, curved in a rectangular way, with projecting forestage is flanked by sidewalls, recessing in an accordion fold; the opening of the arch is framed by relief horizontal cornice from above. The balcony has a front part shaped in a concave manner with a smooth timber parapet, behind which it is articulated into a hint of five boxes by low partitions. The floor of the balcony ascends in a staircase like way behind the boxes; seven rows of seats, differentiated in height levels, are divided by a middle aisle into two halves, the eight row is composed of freely assembled chairs. The ceiling of the hall is unarticulated – apart of continuous embossed frame that runs through its central part; the central flat of the ceiling is flanked by segmental haunch on the sides. A prismatic band of air conditioning is conducted in the axis of the ceiling flat towards the stage (articulated by red painting).

 

Literature:

- Jan Konopáč, Z historie stavby Lomnického divadla. In: Beseda. Obrázkový čtrnáctideník Českého ráje a Podkrkonoší 40, 1939, s. 360-361.

- Alfréd Javorin, Divadla a divadelní sály v českých krajích. I. Divadla. Praha 1949, s. 113-114.

- Jaromír Mastník a kol., Almanach 160 let ochotnického divadla v Lomnici nad Popelkou 1825-1985: divadelní soubor Tyl Sdruženého klubu ROH. Lomnice nad Popelkou 1985.

- Ladislav Kubát a kol., 170 let ochotnického divadla v Lomnici nad Popelkou 1825-1985. Lomnice nad Popelkou 1995.  

- Jiří Hilmera, Česká divadelní architektura. Praha 1999, s. 107, obr. 146-148.

- Jakub Potůček, Oldřich Liska (životopisný medailon), Architekt 50, 2004, č. 10, s. 78-80.

- Kateřina Morávková, Ochotnický spolek v Lomnici nad Popelkou (1825-1985). Ročníková práce z Historické regionalistiky na FF Univerzity Pardubice, 2009.

- Jiří Křížek - Jakub Potůček, Tylovo divadlo v Lomnici nad Popelkou 1930-2010. Příběh jedné stavby Oldřicha Lisky. Lomnice nad Popelkou 2010.

 

Tags: detached building, Interwar period, Purism

 

Author: Pavel Panoch

Translator: Jan Purkert

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