With an investment of more than $20 million pesos headed for the Teatro José Peón Contreras, the Yucatan state continues a modernization project to upgrade the famed theater’s stage, stages, halls, carpet and audio equipment.
Secretary of Culture and the Arts Roger Metri Duarte noted that the resources come from the Support Program for Cultural Infrastructure of States (PAICE), managed by the National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta), already approved for implementation this year.
Also in the works is the rehabilitation of the box seats, with the idea of improving sight lines. Funds are also provided for the purchase of a digital console and a piano and a climate-controlled space to house them.
In mid-December workers will begin updates to the stage and should reopen in February.
In December 2010, the home to the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra lowered its curtain to give way to new stage equipment. In August 2011, the centenary exhibition saw new, historically accurate paint both inside and outside. In July 2012, seats were changed and capacity increased at a cost of more than four million pesos. Also, four bathrooms were remodeled.
The oldest and most beautiful theater in Mérida is named after José Peón Contreras, poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist, physician, and politician. He was born in Mérida in 1843 and died in México City in 1907. His death was just one year before the theater was inaugurated in his name on Dec. 21, 1908
The neoclassic French style building is similar to the grand European theaters of that era. In the center of the dome is a hanging chandelier of a spider whose arms are of iridescent cut crystal. The arch of the stage has lateral columns of Corinthian order, with variations required by the construction of the building, and materials from this region and abroad, with a richly decorated interior full of space and majesty.
Outstanding national and international plays and artists have performed on its stage over the years.
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