The Malta Independent 24 September 2021, Friday

Manoel Theatre façade to be restored

Malta Independent Thursday, 26 September 2013, 12:11 Last update: about 9 years ago

A call for tenders has been issued for the restoration of the Manoel Theatre’s façade. MEPA has already approved the project, and a tender has been issued to identify the appropriate contractor.

The Manoel Theatre was commissioned in 1731 by Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena. The theatre was to serve as a public theatre “for the honest recreation of the people.” This motto is still inscribed in Latin above the main entrance.

The interior of the Teatro Reale, as it was known for many decades, changed significantly over the years.

Near the end of the 18th Maltese composer Nicolò Isouard was entrusted with managing the theatre. The venue retained its popularity during the French and British periods.

In the latter half of the 19th century it was sold by the government to a private citizen, and eventually fell into disuse when the Royal Opera House was built, For a time it was used as a house for the homeless.

The theatre was renamed Manoel Theatre in 1873. During the Second World War it served as emergency accommodation for bombing victims.

In the 20th century Carnivall Balls started being held at the venue, a custom which has been revived in recent years.

The Manoel Theatre was back in government hands by 1956, and was restored back to its original glory.

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