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Rozrywki Theatre

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Eventi importanti

(dettaglio)1.1.1900 | opening of the Hotel Graf Reden

(dettaglio)1976 | founding of the Polish Television Music Hall

(dettaglio)1978 | conversion of the building into the theatre 1978-1985

(dettaglio)1.1.1985 | The Rozrywki Theatre received the status of an artistic institution with all administrative duties moved to the Art and Culture Department of the Regional Office in Katowice

(dettaglio)29.9.1985 | inauguration of the stage with the concert "Śpiewają aktorzy" ("The Actors Are Singing")

Persone

Storia

The Rozrywki Theatre  was set up in 1976 as the Music Hall – a company subordinated to the Polish Television centre in Katowice. At the beginning of 1985, it was conferred the status of an artistic institution and renamed the Państwowy Teatr Rozrywki; since that time the theatre has its headquarters in a beautiful Neo-gothic tenement house in the centre of Chorzów, on the corner of today’s Katowicka and Konopnickiej streets, which has been adapted to the needs of the theatre from the Community Centre that had been working there since 1947.

The building was erected in 1900, to a design from 1898 by Otton Muecke. Franz Oppawsky, an investor of Jewish origin, set up the luxury Graf Reden Hotel here, in which great carnival balls, boxing fights, chess tournaments, as well as guest theatre and opera performances were held. 

The three-storey Art Nouveau tenement house and attic distinguished itself with rich, though subtle decoration around the windows, as well as a characteristic corner bay window crowned with a vertical conical helmet.

After the war, in 1947, the building ceased to perform the function of a hotel: the Central  Steelworker’s House was opened here, later converted into the Community Centre of the “Kościuszko” Steelworks, which first and foremost offered the stage to the local amateur groups. Upon the creation of the Chorzów Music Hall, it was decided to transform the Community Centre into the headquarters of a theatre and television studio. Adaptation works, including both a considerable increase of the cubic capacity (the erection of backrooms and backstage area) and complete facilities turned out to be very expensive. As a result of political and financial maelstroms (permanent changes of managing directors, the lack of people responsible for taking decisions, prices of materials increasing by several hundred per cent every year), the modernization, which was started in 1978, only finished in 1985. The company that had so far been performing in the Miejski Theatre inaugurated the new stage on 29 September 1985, with a concert entitled Actors Are Singing.

Though modernised, the building was old and had still to be adapted to new functions; it constantly required new repairs. In 2006, the Marshal’s Office and the Chorzów City Council decided to finance a capital modernisation. The bearing system of the building was changed and placed on a new foundation slab. Ceilings were partly demolished, the layout of some walls and piers were changed to create a geometrical, vertical space maintained in various shades of graphite crossed with warm red.  Only the location of the Great Stage and the auditorium in the previous building were preserved, whereas the rest of the space was rearranged from scratch. The Chamber Stage, which had not been acoustically isolated, was replaced with the separate Small Stage on the floor (with an amphitheatrical auditorium for one hundred seats and the original decoration), to be used simultaneously with the Great Stage. The extended foyer of the Great Stage, new cloakrooms, toilets, a buffet and a dance floor make up a space arrangement that is precisely ordered and at the same time surprises with original solutions.

The design, by architect Jerzy Stożek, was based on the idea of dialogue in the broad meaning of the term, the juxtaposition and reciprocal penetration of heterogeneous elements. The glazed elevation rubs the borders between the theatre and the reality of the city surrounding it, allowing the unusual space of the theatre to co-exist with everyday life. The use of various materials (glass, wood, concrete and steel) and textures suits the eclectic architecture of this part of the city. From one side the theatre is surrounded by decorative 19th century tenement houses, from the other by red brick buildings, characteristic of a Silesian workers’ city. The penetration of space harmonises with the penetration of time, displayed inside the building. One wall of the former hotel, exposed to view in the cloakroom, reminds you of the history of the edifice. The austere structure of the concrete walls neighbours precisely finished elements: polished steel handrails are joined by rusty cast iron grips. Mementoes of the Graf Reden Hotel, found during the reconstruction, will be exhibited in the new foyer of the theatre.

The complete project was awarded with the title of “The Best Public Space of the Silesian Voivodeship of 2009”, as well as with the Grand Prix of the Silesian Voivode and the title of “The Interior of the Year” in the competition “Architecture of the Year of the Silesian Voivodeship of 2009”.

 

Literature:

1. Krawat K., Stąd do Broadway'u. Prawdziwa historia Teatru Rozrywki, Teatr Rozrywki 2011.

 

 

Autore: Anna Ochman

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