The Watch

Old Lublin Theater

Lublin, Poland

2004 World Monuments Watch

Built in 1822, the Old Lublin Theater was designed in the neo-classical style by its first owner, Polish architect Lukasz Rodakiewicz, to host local and traveling performances for the entertainment of local citizenry. For more than 150 years, the theater served the city as a venue for plays and opera, then as a cinema and a theater museum. In 1981, the theater was closed, having succumbed to poor management and lack of maintenance. A fire in 1993 severely damaged its interior and compromised the structural integrity of the building, while its damaged roof exposed the interior to the elements. In 1994 the Galeria na Prowincji Foundation purchased the property in hopes of saving the theater and transforming it into an international arts center. Although this architectural relic has found new life as an artist’s workspace in recent years, it receives no support from the city or the Ministry of Culture. Without funds for emergency conservation and a public awareness campaign to bolster support for its preservation, one of Poland’s oldest public theaters is certain to fade from the Lublin cityscape. Last update: 2004

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