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Telšiai Theatre

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Respublikos g. 18, Telšiai
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Telšiai, located in the Curonian lands, was first mentioned in written sources in 1450. In 1791, the city was granted the Magdeburg Rights. During the same year, Bernardine monks built a stone church on a hill, which, in 1926, after the establishment of the Telšiai Diocese, became a Cathedral. The first school was established in 1793. In 1875, a yeshiva was opened in the city, although it was moved to Cleveland in 1941. Telšiai was developing rapidly both at the end of the 19th century and during the interwar period. A railway line, built in 1932, became one of the main contributors towards its growth together with industrial development and numerous public initiatives. The legacy of this rapid development that took place in the interwar period is an ensemble of Modernist architecture.

On October 4, 1936, a total of three new modern buildings were solemnly opened in Telšiai. One of them was the hall of the Curia of the Diocese of Telšiai, the Drama Theatre of Žemaitė, built in the centre of the city near Church Square.

During the period of the national revival, Telšiai didn’t have a palace suitable for a theatre except for the rooms of the Džiugas Cinema. I’ve been an actor since 1907, and I especially felt the lack of such a building in 1920. Therefore, my idea was to create a society, The Committee of Building the Palace of the Samogitian Theatre in the City of Telšiai, wrote the cultural figure, former Burgomaster of the city of Telšiai and the theatrical actor Feliksas Milevičius. In his memoirs, the Telšiai resident wrote that at the beginning the funds for the construction of the theatre were raised both in the United States and Lithuania, but because of the inactivity of the chairman of the committee, Jonas Mikulskis, the idea never turned into anything significant: the honour of building the theatre palace went to the Curia of the Diocese of Telšiai.

Bishop Justinas Staugaitis, who’d been living in a palace designed by Vladimiras Dubeneckis for several years, financially supported the idea of the theatre, allocating 5,000 litas (the former Lithuanian currency) for rapid construction works that caused several conflicts with the local authorities. The same architect who studied architecture in Prague, Steponas Stulginskis, designed both the current Žemaitė Gymnasium and the theatre hall, too.

The modern building in the Constructivist style (popular during the interwal period) served several different functions for the city. On the ground floor there was a box office, a cloakroom and a buffet. If a person entered through a separate entrance on the President Smetona’s Street, they would have been able to visit the shops located inside the building. On the second and third floors there was a hall for theatrical performances and other events that could accommodate up to 260 people. The county governor’s administration was also established inside the building.

Telšiai Theatre

Respublikos g. 18, Telšiai

Telšiai, located in the Curonian lands, was first mentioned in written sources in 1450. In 1791, the city was granted the Magdeburg Rights. During the same year, Bernardine monks built a stone church on a hill, which, in 1926, after the establishment of the Telšiai Diocese, became a Cathedral. The first school was established in 1793. In 1875, a yeshiva was opened in the city, although it was moved to Cleveland in 1941. Telšiai was developing rapidly both at the end of the 19th century and during the interwar period. A railway line, built in 1932, became one of the main contributors towards its growth together with industrial development and numerous public initiatives. The legacy of this rapid development that took place in the interwar period is an ensemble of Modernist architecture.

On October 4, 1936, a total of three new modern buildings were solemnly opened in Telšiai. One of them was the hall of the Curia of the Diocese of Telšiai, the Drama Theatre of Žemaitė, built in the centre of the city near Church Square.

During the period of the national revival, Telšiai didn’t have a palace suitable for a theatre except for the rooms of the Džiugas Cinema. I’ve been an actor since 1907, and I especially felt the lack of such a building in 1920. Therefore, my idea was to create a society, The Committee of Building the Palace of the Samogitian Theatre in the City of Telšiai, wrote the cultural figure, former Burgomaster of the city of Telšiai and the theatrical actor Feliksas Milevičius. In his memoirs, the Telšiai resident wrote that at the beginning the funds for the construction of the theatre were raised both in the United States and Lithuania, but because of the inactivity of the chairman of the committee, Jonas Mikulskis, the idea never turned into anything significant: the honour of building the theatre palace went to the Curia of the Diocese of Telšiai.

Bishop Justinas Staugaitis, who’d been living in a palace designed by Vladimiras Dubeneckis for several years, financially supported the idea of the theatre, allocating 5,000 litas (the former Lithuanian currency) for rapid construction works that caused several conflicts with the local authorities. The same architect who studied architecture in Prague, Steponas Stulginskis, designed both the current Žemaitė Gymnasium and the theatre hall, too.

The modern building in the Constructivist style (popular during the interwal period) served several different functions for the city. On the ground floor there was a box office, a cloakroom and a buffet. If a person entered through a separate entrance on the President Smetona’s Street, they would have been able to visit the shops located inside the building. On the second and third floors there was a hall for theatrical performances and other events that could accommodate up to 260 people. The county governor’s administration was also established inside the building.

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