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Comedy Theatre

Ferdinand Fellner, Hermann Helmer

alias A Magyar Néphadsereg Színháza 1951-1960, Vígszínház
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1.5.1896 | Opening
Opened with the comedy "A Barangök" by Jokai Mór.
(detail)06. 01. 1945 | The building is hit by a bomb


(detail)1950 | Reconstruction of the destroyed building

(detail)1993 | Reconstruction of the building


(detail)Hermann Helmer |main architect
The phenomenon of the architects Fellner and Helmer would be difficult to capture with only one building. Their work consisted of continual, although somewhat stereotypical, work in terms of style. They placed a great emphasis on achieving the technical-operational needs of theatre buildings. They created a large number of theatres (mainly national theatres) in Central Europe - Austria, Croatia, Romania, the Czech Republic, etc.More theatres


For the construction of Vígszínház (approx. Comedy Theatre) the Hungarian Vígszínház Foundation was brought to life, which received the permission for theatre opening from the city council on June 15, 1891. On 8th January 1894 the Hungarian Vígszínház Ltd was founded. The constructions started on April 1, 1895 in former Lipót Boulevard and in a year the building was ready for rehearsals. The designs were made by the famous architectural office from Vienna, lead by Fellner and Helmer, the constructions being lead by a Hungarian architect: Lipót Havel. The venue, from the front, looks as it had only one floor, it has a white colour and neo-baroque characteristics.

The festive opening ceremony was embedded in the Hungarian Millennium celebration series on May 1, 1896; following Andor Kozma’s Prologue the incidental play by Mór Jókai was performed, titled: A Baranghok, vagy a peoniai vojvoda.

The building has maintained its original shape, except for a few minor changes, until the end of World War II, when a bomb hit the theatre on 6th January 1945, destroying its dome and auditorium. The reconstructions were lead by architects Antal Károlyi and Tibor Kiss, while János Flach was responsible for the interior design. The works begun in February 1950 and the new theatre, renamed The Theatre of the Hungarian Peoples’ Army, was opened on Stalin’s birthday on December 21, 1951, which could only recovered its original name in 1960.

Minor changes were carried out on the building during the sixties. The exterior stone footing was renovated, just as the stone sheeting, and the façade was repainted. In 1975 the building received the architectural monument status.

The full reconstruction of the building was carried out in the spring of 1992, when the Hungarian Parliament agreed on a support of 2 billion forint. The reconstruction was finished within a year, the designers were Mária Siklós (KÖZTI) and Gábor Schinagl (interior design). The theatre was opened on 22nd October 1994 by president Árpád Göncz. 



Tags: Fellner and Helmer


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