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City Theatre Zilina

Zilina, Slovakia
1 of 15

In 1775 the Roman-Catholic school was built on the place of today's Town Theatre. After 160 years of its existence it was in such a poor state that it was dangerous to teach in it anymore. However, the town needed a school in the centre. On 19 February 1941 the Zilina School Office performed a control and found out that the building was not suitable for a school. It addressed the parish council to build a new school. The town decided to build the school on the original place. Comparing with the original object, the town decided to enlarge the capacity of the school.

The object of today's Zilina Town Theatre belongs to the group of multifunctional constructions with a theatre hall, which were often built mainly in the first half of the 20th century. Despite the fact that the first idea was focused mostly on the utilitarian function of the object, it is the proof of the representative ambitions of the town, which were given to it by the constructors.

The corner building, built on a sloping ground which was, together with the building, adapted, is situated on two height levels. It consists of two differently long wings, laterally oriented to each other, which include between them a small yard. The entrance facade is oriented to the neighbouring parish church, the shorter side to the Horny val Street. On the northeast side there is a corner two-storied apartment house. The central motif of the main facade is the camber entrance portico, segmented by a line of narrow arcade cross-sections behind which there are balconies on the first and second floor accented on the facade by a decorated iron banister. The same motif of narrow cross-sections in the form of windows is on both sides of the entrance portico. On the right side they light the representative staircase inside in four axes, and from the left side in five axes on the level of two highest floors they light the theatre hall. In front of the windows there is a rebuilt narrow long balcony with decorated balustrade, similar to the one on the entrance portico. Under them, in the 7-axis width, there are smaller rectangular windows of the snack bar, and on the level of two lower basement floors there are other two lines of rectangular windows. The narrower twelve-axis side facade is made in a more plain way, but also with the motif of shallow gallery arches, which hold rectangular window openings between themselves. On the southeast side there is a passage to the yard. The yard part of the building is more austere, with only simple rectangular windows.

Even today the main disposition concept remained unchanged. The central area of the ground floor includes the entrance foyer with a cloakroom and the representative three-axis staircases on its right side. On the opposite side of the staircase on the ground floor there is the snack bar on the left side from the entrance hall. Above it, on the first and second floor, there is the theatre hall accessible from the staircase through the representative foyer and a smaller gathering place. Both of these places have a representative function, the foyer is decorated by an illusive ceiling painting and by marble cover of the walls, the smaller gathering place is faced by wood from the floor to the ceiling. The theatre hall is rectangular with a protruding proscenium, and with the parterre with 262 cascade-placed seats and the 48-seats balcony placed in the back. The side walls are latticed by window niches running through the theatre hall. They, as well as the balcony's balustrade, are covered by wood. The painted decoration starts from the spot where the ceiling gradually sets on the sidewalls. In the centre of the ceiling there is a flat cupola with a blind oculus. The decoration includes stylized geometrical and floral adornment, the only figural decoration are the four muses on the circular medallions in the corners. The portal, separating the auditorium and the stage, has a simple form without decorations, with the frame which is faced by wood.

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bostjan, January 15th, 2017
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