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    The largest theater in Costa Rica celebrates 85 years

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The historic Theatre Melico Salazar of Costa Rica, founded in 1928 with the help of Spanish entrepreneur Jose Raventos, celebrates its 85 years of life this week with a series of shows, organizers said Monday.

    The theater originally opened under the name of Teatro Raventos on October 12, 1928, but in 1985 changed its name to Popular Theatre Melico Salazar, after the famous tenor born in Costa Rica in 1887.

    The building, which is the largest cultural center of the country, measures 4,500 square meters and has a capacity for 1,091 people, according to an official statement from the Ministry of Culture and Youth.

    “The Popular Theatre Melico Salazar, as a stage performance space, is today one of the most important cultural icons of the city,” expressed Costa Rican Minister of Culture and Youth, Manuel Obregon.

    The Melico has hosted Marcel Marceau Salazar, Paloma San Basilio, Pablo Milanes, Hombres G, Joan Manuel Serrat, Facundo Cabral, Gabriel García Márquez and the Dalai Lama, among many others.

    As part of the celebration, there will be various activities every night this week which will reflect the popular character, both in programming and in their prices, which has always characterized the theater.

    Activities will still take place during the building restoration work, which is a $2.4 million investment.

    The exterior, roof, and plumbing were restored from 2002 to 2006 and from 2006 to started the renovation of the electrical system, which includes $325,000 in an audio system specially designed for the auditorium.

    The place where the Melico Salazar now stands was originally the Casa del Cabildo of San Jose, where the documents for independence were created in October 1821 and formally swore the independence of the Spanish crown on November 1st of that same year.

    On February 8, 1927 marked the beginning of the construction for the Melico under the direction of architect José Fabio Garnier and the following year the theater opened, which at the time had a capacity of 2,250 people, making it the largest in Central America.

    After a fire, which occurred following a performance of the movie Dracula, Prince of Darkness in 1967, work began to rebuild the theater in 1971, which ended in 1985, maintaining the infrastructure that is still seen today. ACAN-EFE

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose Costa Rica

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