Located in Plaza de Julián Romea, named for the famous Murcian actor considered one of the greats of Spanish theatre.
The building, opened in 1862 under the name Teatro de los Infantes, later Teatro de la Soberanía Popular, and finally Teatro Romea, after the death of the actor. The building suffered two major fires in the 19th century (1877 and 1899), with only the walls left standing after the second. Reconstruction works after the fire, and the important renovations which took place in 1985, have meant that this iconic theatre has been opened on four occasions.
The building has an eclectic façade, with neoclassical influences and modernist details. The busts in the top centre section represent Beethoven, Mozart and Liszt, and above the windows are four relief medallions featuring other Murcian playwrights.
Inside, the ceiling murals by Antonio de la Torre and Inocencio Medina are of particular note, depicting the crowning of Julián Romea by the muses, and the offering of the city’s coat of arms to the actor and poet. The curtain, a gift from María Guerrero, represents Music, Poetry and Drama.
It is one of the most important theatres in Spain, loved by audiences and performers alike for its beauty, comfort and extraordinary acoustics.
A stage recently reclaimed for the public, under the guardianship of the city council. It is very modern, not only in its programming but also for the architecture of the building itself.
It is influenced by the building models of the early 20th century, following the trends set by the famous “theatre-circuses” which had spread from Paris to many European cities. It was opened in 1892. Its first name - Teatro Circo Villar - referred to its owner, Enrique Villar. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the Circo competed with the Romea in its programming. One private, the other public, they ended up putting on the same works with different companies, so that audiences could judge whose was better.
The Circo Theatre has undergone a number of changes over the years. In addition to its use as a theatre and circus, it has also hosted boxing and wrestling, equestrian shows, films, various public events and even exhibitions of wild animals, including a bullfight with an “authentic steer, after closing off the floor with a metal fence, in order to ensure public safety.” The floor has even been turned into a large swimming pool, where the Benett sisters swam.
FRANCISCO RABAL REGIONAL FILM INSTITUTE
The Francisco Rabal Regional Film Institute is located in the centre of Murcia, very close to the Cathedral. Opened in 2004, it aims to restore, preserve and disseminate the cinematic heritage of the Region of Murcia, as well as meet the demand for cinematographic training, experimentation and practices.
Since its founding, the Film Institute, which takes its name from Francisco Rabal as a tribute to this great Murcia actor, has done essential work in restoring Murcian film heritage, making it a leading centre for film studies and research. In addition, the Film Institute has the means for restoring this heritage, processing and analysing documentary resources such as books, magazines, posters, press-books etc., which can be loaned out, making it a specialised library. It also has a graphic archive.
It also does important entertainment and cultural work, thanks to its many activities and themed programming, making it a meeting point for all those interested in cinema. It is also the official headquarters of several festivals, such as the European Fantasy Film Festival of Murcia.
It is located in a building with a great film-going traditions, as it used to be the home of the popular Salzillo cinema.
VÍCTOR VILLEGAS REGIONAL AUDITORIUM
Located a few minutes from the city centre, the Víctor Villegas Auditorium and Conference Centre is made up of two buildings just a few metres apart. The first, designed by architect José María García de Paredes, was opened in 1995, becoming the main music venue in the Region of Murcia. The second, designed by Ignacio García Pedrosa and conceived to complement the existing facilities, opened in 2002.
The Auditorium has three main rooms:
Sala Narciso Yepes: a large symphony hall with 1,768 seats and a 300 m2 stage. It has spectacular acoustics and excellent visibility from all areas. It is an ideal space that welcomes each season a wide and rich programme of all kinds of musical events: ballet, symphonies, opera, musicals and theatre.
Sala Miguel Ángel Clares: 469 seats with excellent visibility and acoustics. Its layout and large stage of more than 90 m2 makes it a perfect mid-size venue, amplifying the feeling of closeness between performers and the audience.
Sala Audio: an open spacious hall of over 1,200 m2, with no seating, hosting concerts of the most varied musical styles (pop, rock, hip-hop, electronica, dance, etc.).
A theatre located in the Murcian suburb of El Palmar, a major part of the social and cultural life there since its opening in 1910.
According to reports from the time, the building had three large and decorative main doors that led to a welcoming lobby, from which a wide hallway with two turns led to the stage, and three others: one central and two side, led to the seats.
The lobby also contained two staircases, one on each side. The seating was large, pleasant and spacious. There was a central aisle and two on the sides, facilitating smooth access to the seats.
The decor was highly artistic and sophisticated, with abundant and varied lights. There was an outdoor terrace that could be accessed from the audience. It was a real gem.
Over the years, the theatre itself closed, and it came to be used as a projection room. After its reconstruction in the year 2003 by students from the City Council of Murcia Vocational School, it is now used for theatre, dance and concerts.