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Petritoli, Teatro dell'Iride

With the Unity of Italy Petritoli experienced a period of great economic and socio-cultural revival which involved the building of a number of monuments that have become symbols of the lively Ferman town. In 1869 the mayor Corrado Corradi together with the town council encouraged the foundation of a consortium company for the construction of a theatre.  Actually, the company was set up only two years later, when it was resolved that the Council was to bear part of the expenses. On the same occasion the architectural and decorative plans presented by Giuseppe Sabbatini were greeted with great appreciation by the co-owners of the theatre. The work began around 1873 and was completed in 1877, when the theatre was inaugurated in the presence of an admiring and proud public. Unfortunately there is very little documentation, but on the basis of a number of testimonies we can affirm with certainty that beginning in the 1930s the building was used as a cinema. The passing of time together with the neglect resulting from the Second World War affected this tiny shrine of a long collective memory and it was forced to close in 1957 because it was declared dangerous. In 1982, however, the Teatro dell’Iride came back to life and was inaugurated a second time with the same enthusiasm as in the past. Currently the structure, which is located in the central Via del Teatro, continues to be a centre of cultural exchange and periodically hosts concerts, plays, poetry and every two years the International Oboe Competition named after the master Giuseppe Tomassini. The theatre, which has a maximum capacity of two hundred and twenty-six spectators, has two tiers of boxes and a balconied gallery.  Around the elliptical hall we can note the solemn giant order of Corinthian columns standing on a high plinth decorated with hippogriffs and sinuous floral ornaments. The plafond, painted by the master Salomone Salomoni, has a concentric band decorated with allegorical motifs, four female figures and four medallions depicting the playwright Giovanni Battista Nicolini, Carlo Goldoni, Vittorio Alfieri and Alberto Nota.