The Vinohrady Theatre(Vinohradské divadlo) was vandalized and ravaged during the World War II.

Pha2 - Vinohradské divadlo01

When strolling across Náměstí Míru Square, passing the church, on your right you cannot miss the Vinohrady Theatre building. What is the first thing you recall? Actors, its history, patriotism, or drama in general? It is the same with us, though.

It had been spoken about the necessity to establish another theatre, so that Prague cultural life could flourish, even before the National Thetare was opened to the public. Vinohrady municipal council approved the proposal in 1892 for Vinohrady municipal corporation to apply for Czech theatre establishment concession. Two years later, in 1902, a competition of tenders for architects of Slavonic nations was announced; out of twelve accepted designs the winner was appointed Alois Čenský.

The foundation-stone was laid in 1905, on Patron Saint Wenceslas Day. Only two years took it to build such an impressive building, and in the spring of 1907, Prague cultural public was eager to observe final works.

On November 24, 1907, the majestic art-nouveau Municipal Theatre of Royal Vinohrady first opened its doors. The production was Jaroslav Vrchlický´s play based on the life of Lady Godiva, the 11th century benefactress who supported the townsfolk against her husband´s oppressive taxation by riding naked through the streets of Coventry.

Two years later two parallel theatre ensembles performed in the Municipal Theatre of Royal Vinohrady – dramatic and opera/operetta ensembles. Such a situation took twelve years, then, opera ensemble left the theatre and it became solely dramatic theatre – as was the original purpose.

After merging of Royal Vinohrady with Prague on February 5, 1922, the theatre building was assumed by Prague Mayor Karel Baxa, in the name of the Czech capital, Prague. The Vinohrady Theatre became one of Prague City theatres.

Towards the end of 1928 a new chief-director was appointed -  Jan Bor, journalist, critic, and director – successor of previous director Jaroslav Kvapil. From his artistic time period in the Vinohrady Theatre we can name drama stagings of F.M. Dostojevsky, with excellent cast of Zdeněk Štěpánek, Frantisek Smolík, František Kreuzmann, Jiří Plachý, Míla Pačová or, Olga Schneipflugová.

Between 1935 – 1940 director of the Municipal Theatre of Royal Vinohrady was Dr. Bedřich Jahn, nevertheless, he was sacked and his post was taken over by Dr. Vladimír Říha. His management lasted only less than a year, till September 30, 1941, when the theatre was officially closed to the public. The ban lasted till the end of January, 1943. German filmmakers took possession of the well-maintained building, quite unjustly, and made hay of inner interiors. Nazi propaganda was bitterly contemptuous of everything made by the Czechs, or, to be exact, the Slavonians.

It were not only destructed interiors, but Hitler managed to drag down several innocent people – ascribing underground activities to them. Cloakroom attendant Marie Spilková was executed, as well as Anna Letenská who died in Mauthausen. Rest in peace!

The Vinohrady drama ensemble had to move to the Karlín Variety Theatre, where the director was compelled to start all dramatic activities and the theatre was renamed Kajetán Tyl Theatre. František Götz, artistic director, managed to adapt his plans to the inconvenient circumstances. The theatre could present its performances, playing to a full house, till all theatre closure in August 1944.

After the World War II, immediately in May 1945, the Municipal Theatre of Royal Vinohrady returned back to its former building. Many hands were ready and willing to clear away all property damages; thus, the theatre could open as early as in June.

In 1950 the theatre was assigned to the Czechoslovak Army. Under the authority of the Minister of Defence it became the Central Theatre of Czechoslovak Army. The aim was to educate nation, stressing the upbringing of young generation, in the name of socialist ideas.

From July 1, 1960, the Central Theatre of the Czechoslovak Army´s main keeper became Prague City People´s Committee, its title  - the Central Theatre of the Czechoslovak Army  - remained only as honorary title. Between 1960-65 the director of the Vinohrady scene became dramaturgist and director Luboš Pistorius. After his demission a new head of the theatre became František Pavlíček who succeeded in extricating from the scope of influence of the Ministry of Defence and the theatre was renamed The Vinohrady Theatre again.

Inspite the sad fact that the repertoire had to be a product of its time the theatre management was able to keep abreast of the times, so that not to disappoint its audience. The Municipal Theatre could always be proud of its staring actors: this time period characterizes e. g. Václav Vydra, Jaroslav Vojta, Bedřich Karen, Roman Tuma, Anna Iblová a další. Dnes v divadle účinkují například Petr Kostka, Hana Maciuchová, Zlata Adamovská, Viktor Preiss, Otakar Brousek, Jana Hlaváčová, Jiřina Jirásková, Daniela Kolářová, Ilja Racek, Jaroslav Satoranský, Veronika Žilková, Jan Šťastný, Václav Vydra mladší, Svatopluk Skopal or Ladislav Frej.

In 1990 was put up a director post for competition – Jiřina Jirásková attained the post on May 30. Her Theatre management lasted long ten years, till  June 30, 2000. Current director is Jindřich Gregorini and artistic director Martin Stropnický.

Info:

Information on ticket sale and reservation:

Tel.: 224 257 601 – cash desk
Tel.: 296 550 226, 227, 236 – commercial section

Tel./Fax: 224 253 870

The Vinohrady Theatre

Náměstí Míru 7

120 00 Praha 2

GPS:

50°4’33.762″N, 14°26’13.767″E

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