A large banner reading “Golden Dawn will never die,” waving from the balcony of an apartment across the road from the emblematic Municipal Theater of Piraeus in the center of the port city, and a cascade of plastic ivy blocking the view of metro construction works may be unattractive, but they are unable to take away from the beauty of this theater which will be opening its doors again on Tuesday.
The 8,000 square meter building, which seats an audience of 600, was built in 1985 to a design by Ioannis Lazarimos. Now, after 14 years and 40 million euros’ worth of renovations, this architectural gem will reopen with an ambitious program that includes artists from a range of disciplines.
The official October 22 opening, which will be attended by numerous dignitaries including Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, will feature a performance designed especially for the occasion by Fokas Evangelinos, starring popular actors including Yiannis Bezos, Stamatis Fasoulis, Dimitris Lignadis, Eleni Kokkidou, Yiannis Zouganelis, Kerasia Samara and Thanasis Alevras, among others, as well as local rap acts.
The production, “The Streets of Piraeus,” will serve as a showcase of the city’s and the theater’s history.
The following day, the celebrations will continue with an evening of popular arias performed by soprano Gina Fotinopoulou and the launch of an exhibition of photographs by Maria Koukkou revealing some of the theater’s best-kept secrets.
In the 118 years that the Piraeus Municipal Theater was in operation, it saw great times – with many of the country’s finest directors and actors gracing its stage – and bad times – when economic necessity compelled it to open its doors to tawdry local functions and beauty pageants. But its new artistic director, Takis Tzamargias, a stage director and bona fide child of the city, is planning to bring back the good old days with a quality program featuring plays, concerts, visual arts exhibitions and other cultural events.
Ticket prices are set at an affordable 25, 18 and 8 euros.