The Ideal Theater, located in the municipality of Yauco, was for many years the municipality’s only center for artistic entertainment and the most luxurious in the region. It was the scene of a huge number of cultural and historical activities.
The theater was designed by Jesús Buíl Lluveras in 1926 and was commissioned by the Yauco Moving Pictures Company. It has been the stage for many artistic presentations, such as an appearance by Argentine tango singer Carlos Gardel in 1935 and the traditional Spanish operettas performed by musical companies that visited the island. Literary competitions were also held at the theater, and poets such as Francisco Villaespesa, Luis Llorens Torres, Evaristo Rivera Chevremont, and José Gordils were honored here. Important political gatherings also took place in the theater, such as the general assembly of the Liberal Party in 1936.
The Ideal Theater is the only example of the Broadway type of theater built during the early decades of the 20th century on the island. It has a capacity of six hundred people and its interior is the prototype of the opera houses of Europe. The main façade of the structure consists of a two-story portico in eclectic style. Four Tuscan columns support the portico, which is divided into three sections. On the two side sections, the roof is flat, and in the central section it has a vaulted ceiling as well as an entablature that combines straight and curved elements and emphasizes the entrance to the building.
Above each column, the head of a lion adorns the frieze. A panel adorned with a harp decorates the curve and emphasizes the entrance and the symmetry of the design. Above the parapet, a vase crowns each end of the building. The height of the portico is moderated by a balcony on the second level that extends across the entire façade.
Today, the theater, which is under the administration of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, is on a reconstruction process and not in use. In 1988, it was added to the United States Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places.
Adapted by the PROE Editorial Group
Original source: Catalog of Properties, National Register of Historic Sites, State Office of Historic Conservation, Office of the Governor, 1995.
Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: January 08, 2010.
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