July 27, by Ellis Dixon. Almost a century ago, it was a playground for theatergoers, thrill-seekers, intellectuals, and the political elite of Lisbon. This complex included restaurants, fado houses, a cinema, a carousel, a wrestling and boxing pavilion, a toy rifle range, and more. The Teatro Variedades in the early s arq. Other musical and comedy acts followed to moderate reviews over the next 30 years, until the program slowed substantially after the park caught fire in while Barefoot in the Park the theatrical version of the Paramount Film starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford was the headlining act. The flames spread around the park and seriously damaged most of the theaters — the overture to the end for most. Showtimes became even more sporadic in the years that followed. In , after almost 70 years of entertainment, the Variedades Theater closed its doors for the final time. The site has been sitting still, unused, untouched for a quarter of a century while the city of Lisbon has been evolving around it. The site has changed hands between the Camara Municipal de Lisboa and a private parking lot company called Bragaparques at least three times over the last 17 years, resulting only in lawsuits and a botched attempt to involve the famous American architect Frank Gehry in a revitalization plan back in the mid s.
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No one has favorited this theater yet. Opened in December as a live theatre it began showing films from and became a full time cinema from Designed by architect Ventura Terra, it has an interesting facade of three coupled windows beneath a large relieving arch which is surmounted by the name of the theatre in stonework and an attic storey with roundel windows. Inside there is a large lobby which is decorated like an entrance to a stately mansion. The auditorium has the look of a small opera house with seating on the main orchestra floor and three levels of horse-shoe shaped balconies with stage boxes.
We booked to see this show not really understanding what we were going to see. We were amazed Amazing performances by 3 people representing her stages of life from childhood and her later years!