Municipal Theater of Cefalù

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The Teatro Comunale of Cefalù (Municipal Theater), dedicated to the violinist Salvatore Cicero, is one of the little jewels of the city. Originally built in 1816, the building has undergone modifications and extensions over the years, but has maintained its original appearance. The theater became world famous in 1988 when it was chosen by the director Giuseppe Tornatore for the film “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso”.

The history of the Salvatore Cicero Teatro Comunale di Cefalù

The Teatro Comunale di Cefalù is dedicated to the violinist Salvatore Cicero. The history of its construction began in 1816, when a group of Cefalù citizens obtained permission to build it. Two years later the first version of the theater was finished. In 1847, probably due to management difficulties, the theater was handed over to the town council. In the 20th century, with the advent of film, the theater was forced to become a cinema in order to survive. Instead, during the Second World War, it became the headquarters of the German troops, where most of the command functions are located. In 1975, the theater was closed to begin a long period of restoration aimed at making the building more suitable for the new demands of modern cinematography.

Architecture and interior of the theater

The original core of the Teatro Comunale di Cefalù was designed by the architect Antonio Caruso with a horseshoe plan, typical of Italian theaters. The building was later raised by 2.55 meters according to a design by Emanuele Labiso. This made it possible to create a small gallery for the less wealthy spectators. The interior decoration of the theater was entrusted to Rosario Spagnolo. The painter created the oval painting on the ceiling, depicting allegories of the arts. You can see Thalia, the muse of comedy, Terpsichore, the muse of dance and Euterpe, the muse of music. The Civic Theater of Cefalù became famous in 1988 when it was chosen by Giuseppe Tornatore for the film Nuovo Cinema Paradiso. The film won the Oscar for “Best Foreign Film” in 1990.

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