The main Hall
The MAIN HALL is the heart of Teatro Sociale. The splendid architectural setting and the pictorial and gold-leaf decorations do not exhaust the value of this hall: in addition to its aesthetic value, the Main Hall features first-class technical and acoustic elements.
Suitable for large-scale events, it can host any type of show on stage, or be transformed into a convention hall. The Main Hall can be used partially or completely, adapting to accommodate between 300 and 900 people.
Many interventions and restorations took place over the years.
In 1855, thanks to the work of architect Leopoldo Rospini, 38 boxes were added: 12 thanks to the enlargement of the stalls, the others were built in the fourth order. For the construction of the fifth order, it was necessary to raise the building, sacrificing the original 1813 vault, attributed to Alessandro Fiori, which depicted the coronation of Asti poet Vittorio Alfieri, and around him Bacchae, candelabra and festoons. The current painting of the ceiling vault, depicting the muses descending from Olympus to crown the artists, is the work of Eleuterio Pagliano to a design by Gaetano Spelluzzi, executed during the restoration. After the restoration, the theatre could accommodate up to 2000 people.
In 1864, gas lighting completely replaced the candle lighting, and the central chandelier was also changed with an elegant lamp donated by the municipality, while in 1899, on the occasion of the centenary of Alessandro Volta’s invention of the battery, the theatre was equipped with electric lighting.
Then, in 1909, the fourth-order boxes were removed in favour of a uniform gallery, to accommodate the growing demand from the general public.
In 1984, the theatre was closed for renovations to comply with safety regulations, but the Palchettisti Society, which bore the entire financial burden, handed its theatre back to the city and reopened it on 23 October 1988. The restoration work continued with the re-roofing and the restoration and painting of the entire building, now restored to its original state. With a programme agreement signed in 2005 by the Palchettisti Society, AsLiCo, the Lombardy Region, the Municipality and the Province of Como, the Theatre once again underwent careful restoration work, which involved the stuccoes, the vault, the stage and, more recently, the complete replacement of the stalls seats.
In 2013, the abandoned 1930s stage tower was demolished and the rear façade of the theatre, designed by architect Cusi, was restored. The Arena of the Teatro Sociale, used for open-air performances until the 1960s, was returned to the city in June 2013.