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All Colours Theatre

Giovanni Domenico Orsi

history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)17. century | Construction

The theatre hall was originally a refectory (dining room) that is located in a building that came into existence as an early Baroque building of a monastery of White Friars by St. Havel after 1671 according to the design by Giovanni  Domenico Orsi.


(detail)30. 's 20. century | Reconstruction

Extensive reconstruction was carried out in 1935-1938 according to the design by architect Josef Rössler.


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

The building was costly renovated in the 1970s for the activity of the House of Soviet Science and Culture. The hall itself was converted for lectures and concerts. The reconstruction was carried out by the Prague Design Institute (J. Kalous, R. Černý, G. Čelechovský).


(detail)1993 | Opening

Another reconstruction was carried out in 1993, when the black theatre All Colours Theatre started to perform in this room.


People

Josef Rössler |architect
J. Kalous |architect
R. Černý |architect

History

The hall of the All Colours Theatre – originally a refectory (dining room) is located in a building that came into existence as an early Baroque building of a monastery of White Friars by St. Havel after 1671 according to the design by Giovanni  Domenico Orsi  (1633 - 1679). White Friars acquired the church of St. Havel with a presbytery and school by a decree of the Emperor Ferdinand II. in 1627. The buildings were not sufficient for them so they pursued the purchase of other buildings that belong to the community. The foundation stone of the monastery was laid in 1671. After the order had been abolished in 1786, the building was transferred into the religious fund, in 1816, there were shops in the ground floor and lace factory in the first floor, for which the interior war reconstructed in 1832. Extensive reconstruction was carried out not before 1935-1938 according to the design by architect Josef Rössler. The building was purchased by the City Saving Bank that had a seat in the adjacent building at that time and had it converted for its commercial and representative purposes. A bridge connecting both the buildings came into existence at that time as well. Only the east side with a refectory,  which was used by the architect for a coffee, and a part of circumferential walls has been preserved from the original layout. The present day three wings building, adjoined to the St. Havel church by its north wing, is a new building. The ground floor layout with showcases is modern.

The Institute of History of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia had its seat here after 1948 and the building was costly renovated in the 1970s at the dawn of the so called Normalization for the activity of the House of Soviet Science and Culture. The hall itself was converted for organization of lectures and concerts. The reconstruction was carried out by the Prague Design Institute (J. Kalous, R. Černý, G. Čelechovský). The owner of the premises is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs nowadays. Another reconstruction was carried out in 1993, when the black theatre All Colours Theatre started to perform in this room. Its administrator - Interart Production Ltd. carried out a new structure of a theatre balcony in 2000-2001, by which the capacity of the hall was increased by 50 seats to the total of 208.

The early Baroque vaults have been preserved only in the wing, where the former refectory, a theatre hall nowadays, is located. The hall contains original stucco decor and ceiling paintings with biblical motifs (the Last Supper, Jacob’s Dream, Christ in Emmaus) from 1730 – 1740.

The foyer of the theatre was separated by partitions in the second wing of the building, reconstructed by Rössler. A spectator reaches the foyer from Rytířská Street through an entrance hall, which is joint with the Czech Centre and Prague Information Service. There is a cloak room with a miniature buffet and social facilities perpendicularly to the hall. From here, one enters directly into the theatre hall with no slope and with thirteen rows of seats. Dressing rooms are adjacent to the right side of the heightened stage. A projection booth is located in the first floor, where a gallery of the theatre and access to the balcony is located. The theatre hall is designed for production of the so called black light theatre.

 

Sources and literature:

A: Stavební archiv Mě části Praha 1

L: Pavel Vlček (ed.), Umělecké památky Prahy. Staré Město, Josefov, Praha 1996, s. 354-355.

 

Tags: Contemporary era, theatre hall

 

Author: Markéta Svobodová

Translator: Jan Purkert

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