With the sound of martial music -as was the tradition before each performance- and lighting on its great façade, the Alhambra Theater in Taltal celebrated its 101 years of history this Monday, November 21 at 9:00 p.m., under the gaze of dozens of of families who attended this act convened by the municipality.
On November 18, 1921, the Alhambra Theater in Taltal opened its doors with a benefit function for the 21 de Mayo Hospital. For more than 80 years, this place brought together all the Taltalinos and Taltalinas every weekend.
In 2002, the creation of the ‘Escuela workshop’ made it possible to reopen the theater after its closure in 1990. 21 young people from the commune received drawing, painting and carpentry classes here and later carried out the restoration of the façade , foyer and hall by Orlando Díaz and Luis Acuña with the support of Spanish professionals Amaia Mangas and Igor Rodríguez.
In 2002, during the previous administration of Mayor Guillermo Hidalgo Ocampo, the municipality acquired this emblematic venue from the Perucci Family.
“We wanted to make a symbolic milestone to endorse our commitment to the protection of our history and heritage. The Alhambra Theater is an iconic building that marked the lives of so many Taltalinos, and we hope that with its preservation it will also mark current and future generations,” said Mayor Guillermo Hidalgo at the beginning of the ceremony.
It is worth mentioning that this theater has double importance for Taltal. On the one hand, as historical heritage given the type of construction completely made of Oregon pine, its Italian-style architecture and its permanence over time. And on the other, the experiences of childhood, youth, work and entertainment of those who were protagonists of the 101 years of the place, which was a venue for great shows.
“It is fantastic to celebrate this important date, since it is a unique building, which represents part of our Taltal identity, from the time of saltpeter and small mining, to the present day. Recovering it, resuming restoration works is a contribution to the history of the commune, a way of promoting heritage. We want the same thing to happen with other venues such as the Augusto Capdeville Municipal Museum, which is 140 years old”, said its director Rodolfo Contreras.
One of the attendees, Luis Cuevas, indicated that “when passing by here, it is inevitable to remember the Sundays in our childhood. Adolescence, with the first kisses and high school flirts. And then so many marriages, like mine. So many evenings, so many anniversaries, school presentations. So many afternoons and nights of movies, and plays”.
Meanwhile, Edith Raby, an older woman, born and raised in Taltal, was one of the first to arrive at the anniversary event. “It is beautiful to be able to remember past times. The sound of the march is exciting and even more so, knowing that this theater is still standing, and will once again belong to everyone. Thanks to the municipality for commemorating a new anniversary with a beautiful festival of colored lights and music,” she noted.
Carlos Céspedes was another of the citizens who was surprised by the activity. “This is a heritage of incalculable architectural and historical value. It is very interesting what they have done, night lighting of the façade to remind us of the grandeur of this place. Hopefully they will replicate it in other cities and countries, to attract interest in heritage with a sense of modernity”.