Regio UE GR MDRAP focsani fonduri-ue

“Maior Gh. Pastia” Municipal Theatre


Location: Republicii Street, no. 77
“…the desire to contribute in a small measure to the enlightenment and education of the Romanian nation to which I devoted myself with all my heart through honest work, firstly among the army, I served as a good patriot, even fighting after I was wounded in the War of Independence, which was acknowledged by being awarded several decorations, among which the golden “Military Virtue”, put on my chest by King Carol himself on the battlefield in Bulgaria, and after I got out of the army, I dealt with agriculture, working hardly in tension and everyday hardships, for more than 40 years, seeing the necessity for the city of Focsani to have a Temple of Art, I found the way, that from all the savings acquired and after the insistence of my citizens to build a theatre in 1908, a Theatre settled in the centre of Focsani, my city of birth, to serve as a place of Culture and National Education.” (excerpt from Maior Gh. Pastia’s will)
Despite its modest dimensions, Focşani experienced at the end of the 19th century a genuine ascent in the field of dramatic arts and culture, through the dedication and hard work of local intellectuals and lovers of theatre, such as Ion Lupescu.
In this new cultural impetus, the culture enthusiasts were confronted with the necessity of founding an edifice dedicated to theatrical play. Along with issues of location, the dilemma of those in question, was compounded by the disappearance in 1906 of the old theatre building, built in 1871 by actor Ioan Lupescu. Under those circumstances, Major Gh. Paste, philanthropist and son of Focşani, in his desire to popularize culture and educate townspeople, he offered a generous donation to Focsani City Hall (more than 500,000 lei ) in order to build up a modern establishment.
The foundations of the future building are laid in a ceremony on October 11th, 1909. Upon the festivities organized, a commemorative coin is struck acknowledging the author, architect C.C. Ciugolea (on one side “The Theatre of Focsani City built in 1909” and on the reverse – “Donor, Maior Gh. Pastia Maior, Mayor of the city I.G. Poenaru, and engineer Gh. Vasilescu”), while the contractor of the work was Architect Simion Vasilescu.
The construction of the Theatre, made in Baroque style, was completed in 1913; the cultural edifice itself being a miniature replica of the national theatre in Iasi and the one in Odessa.
On November 21st, the Theatre opened its doors, ready to host its first performances: “Fântăna Bladuziei” by Vasile Alecsandri and "Pe malul gârlei” by Olănescu- Ascanio, in Focsani.
In 1927, the theater building had a sophisticated and modern equipment, its instrumentation comprising: a stage mechanism, baroque furniture, decorated stage, Western curtain; everything inspired by the great European cities of Berlin, Paris and Brussels. Also in May the theater was equipped with central heating and air ventilation, whereas in 1927 was connected to the public water network.
Structurally “the building consists of three floors and a basement. The ground floor consists of a main hallway with access stairs to the first floor and cloakroom. On the first floor there are: foyer, stall and scene. From the foyer, two side stairs give access to the loggia and balcony. The access is achieved through a portal with six columns, with composite capital, supporting the balcony upstairs. The scene has an opening with a semi-circular arch with a rich gilded stucco floral decoration. The interior walls show rectangular or square panels surrounded by gilded stucco baguettes and floral decorations at the corners. The auditorium is covered by a circular canopy framed by a rich vegetable gilded stucco decoration, painted with angels. The facades are harmoniously decorated with vegetal ornaments, stylobates, window frames, and bossage. The roof is fitted with attic and provided with skylights.” (National Cultural Heritage built in Vrancea County – Museum of Vrancea).
Despite decades crossed and afflictions that have befallen it, this building remains nowadays a symbol of pride and culture in Vrancea; the theatre constitutes a liaison with that artistic princely candour that led to the building of this authentic temple of Apollo; and a continuous reminiscence of efforts of a single man whose name shall never leave the pantheon of personalities in Focșani.