The Martí Theater, All the way into Havana’s history
BY: ROBERTO F. CAMPOS, PHOTOS: PRENSA LATINA
On the 16th of November of this very year, the Cuban capital celebrates 500 years of existenceand the city comes to life. Especially interesting for culture thirsty travellers, among the most common visited places in Havana, there lie patrimonial treasures such as the famous “Martí Theater”.
Previously know as “Teatro Irijoa”, “El Martí” theater became luxury to the last detail after its reconstruction designed by The Historians Office of Havana. True beauty wanders its rooms, corridors and stages where the popular Bufo genre plays had been presented in its beginnings. Therefore it is considered a patrimonial building protected on a first grade security level.
Remarkable for its neoclassic style, its doors opened on the 8th of June in 1884 thanks to the Spanish immigrant Ricardo Irioja. The admission of colored workers at the theater was a bewildering novelty, as slavery was still existent at the time.
Its central location, together with its quality performances, helped the theater reach success and mark a historic moment for Cuban culture. Nowadays, the stages still come back to its Cuban roots with a modernized design and new cutting-edge technology.
It is a beauty of a building both from the outside and in its interior where detail gives a special particularity to the house of art. Characterized by its two story overlaying windows with semicircular pediments decorating their centers, its architectural equilibrium without a doubt, stands out from the other buildings in the area. Meanwhile, its molten iron columns, marble floors, curtains, carpets and vintage clocks in its interior, form a highly celebrated attractive image for the public both in the past and in the present.
Ventilation and acoustics complement other modern technology in the theater, which permits an enjoyable visit. Dressing rooms, props, costumes, an outdoor café, a sculpturefilled garden, fountains, all indicate the perfect evening.
We are in the presence of a historical piece of art, with much value from an architectural and cultural point of view. Along with 720 pieces of furniture, and extremely interesting artwork in its different spaces, it goes without saying that this is a place to participate in when visiting or living in Havana.
Located on Calle Zulueta, parallel to the Hotel Raquel, and in proximity to one of the most populated areas in Havana, this coliseum constitutes a real wonder for the capitals panorama.