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Kalich Theatre

Bohumír Kozák

alias Komensky Hall
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1936 | Completion date of the building

(detail)1. 11. 1999 | Inauguration theatre performance


(detail)Bohumír Kozák |main architect

A Czech architect, disciple of J. Schulz and J. Koula. He dedicated almost his whole career to Prague, where he built an array of significant Functionalistic buildings.

More theatres

Antonín Belada |architect


The theatre takes the first and second floor in a courtyard building originally from the years 1935-36 built after Bohumír Kozák’s project (building co. Antonín Belada) behind a so called „John Hus house“ (Prague – New Town, No. 22, Jungmannova Street 9). The first project from 1934 suggested a lecture hall or a meeting house of broad dimensions at the ground floor where the theatre is situated. This plan used a diagonally oriented position in contrast to the final theatre realisation. There were supposed to be three sections of seats next to each other with 8-12 rows. A tribune with 44 seats in two rows was supposed to be placed at the back. Another project dated April 1935 provided a broader utilisation and a contemporary lengthwise orientation. There were 22 straight rows in the parterre and a stage in front of them at 805x410cm area, elevated by 80 cm. Organs were situated to the right. The front slip would contain two rows of 15 seats a projection cabin in the back. There were 20 seats in one row in the right and the only one side slip. During the house building inspection on May 25th, 1937 “Komensky Hall” was approved suitable for organising conferences, speeches, academies and concerts. However film and amateurish performances were not approved. Engineer T. Bernášek worked out a study of dispositional changes in a house outside from the theatre. Based on this and plans provided by a building company Pragoprojekt a building permit for the hall adaptation into a theatre was issued on June 28th, 1999. Originally only a parterre, moderate auditorium and a ground floor foyer were considered for construction. Boxes were supposed to be separated from the hall and utilised as cloak rooms for actors, offices and other operational rooms. The investor, a theatre company Hamlet, managed to obtain more space in the building and the neighbouring house during the following months and this enabled the reconstruction to be undertaken at a much larger scale. Dispositions which were used then were provided to the designer civil engineers by Richard Kocourek, the company technical director. The theatre house inspection was realised on October 6th, 1999 and a premier of a musical Hamlet by Janek Ledecky took place here on November 1st of the same year.

The auditorium has nineteen rows with thirteen to twenty-one fixed seats in the parterre, its elevation starting from the sixth row. The front slip carries three rows of seats with fifty-seven places and technical cabins at the back. There are three variably sized open boxes on the right wing with a total number of fourteen chairs, the first two accessible from the slip foyer, the third one from the front slip. There is a side slice on the left side wall with eighteen chairs in one row which is accessible either from the front slip or from a double landing stairway along the left side of the front stage.

The depth of the stage grew to 7.69m from its original size by adding a large front stage. A substantial part of the stage area is taken by a turntable of 6.67m in diameter whose shape would originally copy the left side of the front stage by a broad concentric segment. This section was enlarged in summer 2008. From the very beginning there were made good conditions for a functional entrance of the actors from the auditorium. These characteristics of the stage were fully utilized during an opening inscenation in staging by Šimon Caban.

There is a prop storage room to the left from the stage, a cloakroom behind it and further down a dance-hall and a fitting room.

Literature, sources:

- Stavební archiv MČ Praha 1

-Růžena Baťková (editor): Umělecké památky Prahy – Nové Město; Praha 1998, s. 196 (stať Rostislava Šváchy)



Tags: Contemporary era, Interwar period, Neoclassicism, Postmodern architecture, yard extension


Author: Jiří Hilmera

Translator: Hana Atcheson

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