In Marseille, Thatre to Gymnasium lowers the curtain for a better rebirth

In Marseille, Thatre to Gymnasium lowers the curtain for a better rebirth

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Marcellus (AFP)

Thirty-five years after its last major renovation, the Thretre du Gymnase in Marseille will close at least three years’ work, losing one of the city’s cultural highlights, after realizing it would almost accidentally collapse.

On Thursday evening, with “Le Cabaret des absents” directed by Franுவாois Cervantes, the curtain finally fell on the stage of the oldest theater in Marseille, and the only Italian style, except for the Opera House. Built a few years ago.

Launched in 1804, it was originally known as the “French Theater” and was then in formal competition with the opera.

Dominic Blueset, its director since 1993, explains, “+ Le Corporate des Ascends + tells the story of the restoration of the gymnasium, and how the head of a large oil company came to save this Armond Hammer Theater.”

But “Theater of the Gymnasium Armond Hammer”, its full name, is probably almost dead. This is because, in February 2020, after a simple inspection visit, the true condition of the building was discovered.

It’s the question of replacing carpets and armchairs. But technicians say “the beams supporting the floors, basket, and hen house are no longer attached to the supporting walls, and feel the risk of collapsing,” Dominic Blusette was then forced to reprimand the room’s floors. The theater orchestra alone is now accessible to the public, with a total capacity of 300 seats for 680 spectators.

Thatre to Gymnasium, Marseille, September 30, 2021 Nicholas TUCAT AFP

– “Phoenix” –

“We definitely had an answer before the crash,” he said of the job. Blusette mentions R. d’Abagne, 500m away, in the Noylus district, where eight people lost their lives in the city. Two apartment buildings in November 2018.

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The theater’s total repairs, estimated at 13.5 million by its budget Town Hall, were therefore urgently needed. But the site will last longer than the planned three years.

The city has already announced a six-month delay in the provisional schedule: “We are going to repeat the project management consultation for the courses,” explains Cultural Assistant Jean-Marc Coppola, who said the concessions received so far were well over 90 990,000 in the municipal council.

But Mr Coppola insists that “there is a story around this theater, which is a well – functioning theater that welcomes 50,000 spectators each year.”

“This area has never knocked down a theater, be it whiting or auction,” Dominic Blusette assures, asserting that he has received strong obligations from Marcel’s Town Hall.

“When we found out it’s closing, everyone told me + but it’s a disaster.

Because the dissatisfaction of the theater audience is a fact that does not come from Covid 19. Mr. According to Bluset, we are dealing with “profound change in society.” Entertainment “.

While waiting for the theater to reopen in September 2024, the 2021/2022 season is going to expand outside the walls and meet the public in churches, schools or cafes. And by 2024, a new play from Franசois Cervantes has already been commissioned: “This theater is a phoenix: it always takes rebirth from its ashes”, which wants to convince its director.

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