The Town Theater is a Art-Nouveau building and it can be considered the centre of Thiene’s cultural life. It was built in 1897 by engineer Romano Dal Maso. The construction work was interrupted in the years 1902 and 1903, due to the engineer’s death, and in 1904 it began again under the master Ferruccio Cattaneo. The theater was completed in April 1905, and to celebrate the event the famous opera Rigoletto was staged.
Cattaneo designed the elegant shapes of the building and the wooden elements. On the inside, the vast room is decorated with columns and painted flowers. The two engineers Fonati and Della Valle decorated the outside facade, which looks quite modest compared to the richness of the indoor furnishings, which include female heads, flowers, ribbons and create a very graceful atmosphere.
In 1913 the Theater was bought by the town. A bad fire of the years 1955-56 ruined the structure, and after a brief period of desertion, the building was used as a cinema.
In 1980 the Comune of Thiene together with the Authority of Cultural and Artistic Heritage decided to invest in a deep renovation, mixing the ancient architectural values of the past and the new needs for safety and functionality. On the 27th of March 1985 the newly restored Theater was inaugurated. On the same evening, the event was celebrated with the Shakesperian show King Lear, directed and performed by famous actor Glauco Mauri.
Every year an important theater season in held here with several shows, ballets, concerts, and it hosts actors and dancers from all over Italy and Europe. It is one of the few entertainment rooms in Art-Nouveau style still existing in Europe.
Next to the wide theater room you can see the art gallery of the Comune, a permanent exposition of the many painting which participate in the contest “Painting Prize of the Town of Thiene”.
Art Nouveau is an artistic tendency, part of the bigger movement named “Modernism”. This trend originated in France between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century and it mainly refers to architecture and applied arts. The Modernism tendency was strongly in contrast with the industrialization and wanted to neutralize its effects. The Modernist artists seeked a new realtionship with nature, with its colors and shapes, to decorated and embellish buildings and items.
Art Nouveau is translated in German as “Jugendstil” and in Italian as “stile Liberty”.
In the foyer-bar on the Thiene’s Theatre there is a Picture Gallery, an area where are shown the works of art that partecipated to “Premio Nazionale di Pittura Città di Thiene” (last edition in 1981).