THERE can be little doubt that even from the opening night concert staring Christopher Cross in Torrevieja’s Municipal Theatre, that the theatre had a number of design faults.
From an architectural students point of view, it was poorly conceived for a typical audience of those over sixty, which make up the majority of the population of the city’s population.
It had few places for wheel chairs; only two rows of seats at the flat bottom level: strip lighting in the middle instead of the normal edge of the steps and no obvious way out in case of fire or emergency, except for the two main entrance/exits.
It’s saga of how much it cost and it’s budget and it’s licences became the typical political ping pong ball finally resulting the present government closing down the theatre when they took power, but then seemingly doing nothing to bring it up to the correct specifications for over a year.
Now, eighteen months later, there may be light at the end of the tunnel and the theatre may be close to reopening again, however without any, or with only a few future bookings of any acts of performances for the culturaly starved local residents and visitors to look forward to.
This week the Mayor of Torrevieja, José Manuel Dolón, reported that work on the Municipal Theatre is underway and currently, work is being done in the stairway area where a hole is being drilled in a corner of each landing, which will allow the room to have adequate facilities in the event of a fire.
The drilling work has to be carried out on the two stairways of the building “as demanded by the report of the Administrative Certification Body (OCA).” The work includes the drilling of the floor slabs of all the levels so that the stairs can be used in case of fire.
The mayor indicated that he hopes that within a few weeks work will be concluded. In addition, he pointed out that other elements of the building, like “light boxes”, must also be acted upon and other measures included in the aforementioned report concerning the safety of the building in case of evacuation and emergencies. Along with work on the staircases, cleaning work is being done to make everything ready when the work is completed .
The mayor also said that materials that have been left in the storage in the rehearsal room, on the upper level of the building, have also been removed as there was a real danger in case of fire since it was flammable material. The area can now be used for the first time for what it was originally conceived for. The same can be said of the soundproofed audio room, which was again poorly designed and only used for storage, with a temporary audio and lighting desk set up at the rare of the theatre a few years ago to run the audio visual elements within the theatre.