The municipal theater of Pietrasanta, located in Piazza Duomo is a main location of the Dap Festival, the main theater of the performances of the companies hosted by the festival.

Born as “The Stanzone delle Comedie” was set up in 1674 inside the Palazzo Pretorio. No document describes it, we only know that the abolition was decreed in 1775 following radical restoration work inside the building itself. In 1783 a group of 12 local nobles established themselves in the academy, with the name of Areostatici, with the main intent to build a new and true theater for the city, as was happening in many other places in Tuscany. The new theater, created by the engineer Domenico Svanascini and consisting of a large and harmonious room with three tiers of boxes, was built near the Piazza Maggiore, the hub of city life, in a free area near the Palazzo. Praetorian and adjacent to an oil mill.


It was inaugurated in 1785 and although there are no documents relating to its activity in the early years of life, we think that it was linked to the typical events of the carnival period with performances and dance parties. The first maintenance and improvement interventions were carried out in 1826 to make the structure more suitable to the times. It was necessary, then, to close the nearby crusher both for the inconvenience of the continuous noise that did not favor the theatrical activity and for the significant infiltration of damp that damaged the inside of the Theater. Among the events that marked the life of Pietrasanta in this period there is undoubtedly the memorable day organized for the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the “Leopoldo” city hospital; September 21, 1852, in a program that included religious ceremonies, parties, tombola, fireworks, even the bright lights Theater had its importance; we do not know what was represented to us, but we know with certainty that the Grand Duke was present in the central stage. An old register of “productions and collections” meticulously kept by the director Pietro Pellegrini, documents the activity of the theater of the second half of the 800s at the beginning of the 20th century. As far as prose is concerned, there was a predilection for the drama with strong colors, both human and social, such as La sepolta viva, The family of the blacksmith, Le due orfanelle. But there were also works by Goldoni, Alfieri and Shakespeare. The opera and operetta were also widely represented, achieving great success. In 1902 a new form of entertainment was announced, the cinema, which was not much appreciated by the Academicians who often refused to use the Theater for their projections.
The sale of the Theater by the Areostatics to the Municipality took place in 1928 with the condition that certain restoration and modernization works were carried out that were promptly carried out. Only in 1935 did the theater become a municipal property. This delay is due to the non-transcription of the first act of donation to the Mortgages office, which made it necessary to stipulate a new one. Following a fire, in 1983, the Theater suffered serious damage and it was then that the engineer Andrea Bibolotti completely transformed it replacing the first three orders of boxes with a structure with two terraces supported by large columns: a radical change not without criticism because the traditional setting was lost and the whole seemed to be cold and anonymous; the new columns also prevented the view of the stage from many spectators.In 1961 it was decided to once again radically change the architecture of the hall. The new project, presented by the engineer Mario Maffei, foresaw to move the entrance of the Theater from the side street to the square, to eliminate the two terraces and the related columns to build a single gallery in order to have an audience wider, more welcoming and more comfortable. The inauguration of the new Cinema Theater took place on November 26, 1986, but its activity was short-lived because, due to non-compliance with some important safety regulations, it was declared unfit and only in 1991, after various works, was reopened to the public with a concert of the Regional Orchestra of Tuscany.

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