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Karinthy Theatre

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Important events

(detail)1988 | opening


Architectural description

The theatre at Béla Bartók Street no.130 was originally operated under the name of Cinema Haladás. Approaching from Béla Bartók Street a red-painted wooden portal welcomes us which look likes as a kiosk.

On the top a large inscription indicates that this is the Karinthy Theatre. It was built to enlarge the lobby and the ticket office. From the foyer we can go into a small lounge area and into the buffet. The auditorium is located 1 meter lower than the street level. This arrangement comes from the original cinema function so it can provide adequate slope for the auditorium. On the ground floor and the gallery the seating capacity is 230; which gives a real proscenium stage feeling.

The mass of the stage emerges from the body of the house. There is no flyloft and would be difficult to establish one due to the flats above. Since the wall of the theatre is also the back wall of the house; the scenes can be moved through a narrow space opening to the street. The storage of the scenery can be solved in the surrounding streets. The dressing rooms are located next to the stage, working together with the warehouse. In spite of the narrow space as a result of the apartment building, the theatre is a quite frequented in the district.



The predecessor of the Karinthy Theatre was the Hököm Theatre, which was established in 1982. This, the first co-operative enterprise in Hungarian theatrical life since 1949 to be unsupported by the state, was led by the director Márton Karinthy and the actor Gábor Harsányi. After a number of homes (MOM culture-house and the Cultural Centre in Marczibányi tér) it moved in 1985 to the Gutenberg Cultural House and in 1988 to the Haladás cinema in Bartók Béla út, which had been offered by the local authority of kerület XI. The enterprise itself undertook the renovation of the premises, financing it with a substantial bank loan, and opened on 12 December 1988 with Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, the theatre taking the name of Karinthy. The theatre has no resident company, but actors are contracted for performances. The manager and chief director is Márton Karinthy.



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