THE FORMER „I.L.CARAGIALE” THEATER
In the last decades of the nineteenth century, a kindergarten from the city park was redeveloped and received the role of a „town redoubt”, a sort of „club” frequented by the „good world” of the city: businessmen, magistrates, Lawyers, officials, teachers, etc. Reduta was in the administration of the City Hall. On the occasion of the Coronation Sessions, scheduled for October 15, 1922, the building was completely refurbished, amplified and modernized, receiving the name „Caragiale Theater”. In 1922, on December 1, the official opening of the theater was held. At that time, the „Balgrad” Theater Agency started its activity.
The redoubt continued to function in the interwar period, with the continued existence of meeting rooms, including a restaurant with a covered terrace. The notable actions were taking place in the big hall of the theater. Great artists of that time performed on this stage, stage plays and musical concerts were organized, conferences and meetings of Astra, and cinematic screenings. In the interwar period two cinemas, „Park”, in the building under discussion, and „Capitol” (later „Victoria”), located opposite the central square of the city, functioned for a long time. Also, at the Caragiale Theater took part of the events of the Coronation program and under the high patronage of the Queen Mary, „The Congress of the Romanian Women Union from Transylvania, Banat, Crişana and Maramureş” was held in 1923 (on the occasion of the Tenth anniversary of the Romanian Women’s Society from Alba Iulia).
During the communist era, the building functioned under various names, such as „Municipal Theater”, „Municipal Theater”, „Municipal House of Culture”. Towards the end of the 1960s, cinematic screenings were resumed, the building being called „Cinema 23 August”. After the establishment of the „1 Decembrie 1918” University in the early 1990s, the edifice became the „Student Culture House”. However, the cultural destination was uninterrupted, the building being, from this point of view, the most „busy” historic of all the edifices in the city.
Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian
Translation made by: Ciprian Dobra, PR expert
The former Caragiale Theater is a building in Alba Iulia which has been serving the culture for nearly 150 years. Its story began in the late 1800s when a kindergarten located in the city park was refurbished and was given the role of a public place of entertainment, a sort of „club” frequented by the „good people”: businessmen, magistrates, officials, teachers.
The building was completely refurbished, extended and upgraded ahead of the Coronation celebrations in 15 October 1922. In those days it also received the name of „Caragiale Theater” and on 1 December of the same year, the theatrical season opened officially.
The place kept its entertaining role during the interwar period. Theatrical and musical performances took place in the casino big hall which had 400 seats. In addition to the meeting rooms, there was also a restaurant with a covered terrace. During the communist years, the place took several names: „Communal Theater”, „Municipal Theater”, „Municipal House of Culture” and „23 August Cinema”.
In the early 1990s, when „1 Decembrie 1918” University was established in the city, the former Caragiale Theater became the „Student Culture House”.
Beyond its many names, the building had an uninterrupted cultural purpose and, in this respect, it has been one of most „historic” edifices in the city.