Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rebirth of the Teatro Faenza

Teatro Faenza, on 22nd Street between Carreras 5 and 7
If anything could represent the rise, decline and ongoing renaissance of downtown Bogotá, and even the nation in general, it's the Teatro FaenzaBuilt in 1924 on the site of a porcelain factory which used a technique imported from Faenza, Italy, the Faenza was Bogotá's first movie theatre. However, during the 1950s the beautiful art noveau building sank into decadence and spent a half century as a gay porno theatre - although that didn't prevent the government from designating the building as a national monument in 1975.

A face. 
But being a national monument did nothing to rescue the Faenza, which in 2002 shut down completely. It took the neighboring Universidad Central, which purchased the shuttered theatre in 2004 and began renovations. Originally, the theatre was supposed to reopen in 2009, a deadline which has come and long gone. However, the university continues working, however slowly.

The Faenza's rebirth is part of the renaissance of central Bogotá, which also includes the new Transmilenio lines, several planned office/apartment/hotel towers, the planned Colombian/Spanish Cultural Center (which has not advanced, probably due to Spain's economic troubles) and other projects.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Check out the detail!
Amazingly, the restorers were able to find the original molds used to make the building's decorations.

In March 2012 they finally turned on the Faenza Theatre's lights. 
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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