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The Manoel Theatre, Valletta re-opens its historic doors to the public

Read more about one of the oldest operative theatres in the world - The Manoel Theatre.

Culturally significant, historically relevant and architecturally beautiful … The Manoel Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in continual operation across the world.

Opened in 1732, there have been considerable changes to the building in its near 300 years of existence. Additionally, it has needed refurbishment for an extended period, partially to update it to modern standards but also to remove some inferior restoration work that had previously taken place.

The theatre has just undergone an extensive rehabilitation project which included the restoration of the original façade, the removal of the 1950’s ceramic tile floor and the installation of parquet. In addition to several other projects, the installation of a new ventilation and acclimatisation system is also ongoing. This environmentally friendly system will replace the old ventilation arrangement that was installed in 1811. All around there has been a drive for historical faithfulness and sensitivity.

The project extends the useful operational period of the theatre from seven to eleven months as the conditions in the theatre will be more palatable both to the performers and to the attendees alike. The system will ensure that a consistent and constant temperature is maintained throughout the theatre year-round, without any disturbances to performances from the machinery.

Despite all the activity over the coming season, the team at Manoel continue to strive for its improvement. The theatre’s lighting system has not been included in the current project and they have begun the process of looking for sponsorship. However, their true ambition at present, is the completion of the current project.

This phase of the project is now completed - well in time for the annual Christmas pantomime and the festive season of 2017. The refurbishment was further put to the test for the world renown ‘Valletta International Baroque Festival’, and it passed with flying colours. The festival, now in its sixth year is a celebration of Valletta at large and the city’s performance venues, including the Manoel Theatre. Furthermore, the 2018 festival spread its wings outside the capital, locations included the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mdina, Verdala Castle, and several venues in Vittoriosa. As 2018 also has Valletta as ‘European Capital of Culture,’ the festival played a significant part as it served as one of the opening events for the yearlong cultural program.

For more about the theatre and its programme ahead please visit their website:

Old Theatre St, Valletta, Malta

Copyright: Temple Magazine 2017/18

Images Copyright: Manoel Theatre


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