Back to scratch with the Mon Repos Theatre
CORFU. The newly renovated structure is collapsing – It is only by good fortune that there have been no accidents -DIPETHE is offering to cover the costs of building a new theatre.
This year's season at the Mon Repos “Rena Vlachopoulou” open-air theatre is coming to an end.
The previous announcement from Corfu DIPETHE (Municipal & Regional Theatres) stated that performances will be cancelled until August 13, until the repair work is completed.
Railing came off
As it turns out, this summer season is gone for good, since the construction problems were much more serious than they had seemed. In fact, while the theatre was closed, more serious damage occurred – part of the back railing of the upper platform came off. “Fortunately, the theatre was closed and no one was killed!" Corfu DIPETHE President Panayiota Tzanne told Enimerosi. "On the one hand, we all understand how great the need for entertainment is and how much we have missed these performances. On the other hand, human lives take priority.”
She went on to say that “Basically, what the Town Planning Department wrote in its conclusion is that there was not only a material failure, but also a connection failure. The renovation that was completed quite recently – in 2017 – had been done on the existing frame from its construction in 2000 under Mayor Sarlis. Even non-experts can easily understand that after all these years, it would have suffered some damage.
“Unfortunately, the contractor no longer has any legal responsibility, since no one checked the work and tit was accepted automatically, after a certain period of time had passed. The Construction Risk Protocol had not even been lifted,” she added.
Now, DIPETHE is considering demolishing the current construction and building a new galvanized metal one from scratch that will be more durable than the wooden one, especially considering the weather conditions in the area.
Ready by next summer
According to the DIPETHE President, the new theatre will be bigger – 1000 seats instead of 600 – so that it will also be more attractive for bigger productions and more performances. “We have already sent a letter to the Municipal Technical Services, with the Corfu Municipal Theatre’s Board asking that it bears the full cost of the new construction, which we estimate will be around €80,000. Next summer, DIPETHE will have the open-air theatre in Mon Repos."
The theatre was renovated in 2017 and the project involved work to comprehensively address the problem with a full theatre restoration. It had cost just over €50,000. “Unfortunately, it was wasted money and it was irresponsible to put people at risk. Moreover, DIPETHE is losing its credibility and now we have to make efforts to restore it,” said Mrs. Tzanne.
The remaining performances
The theatre groups from Athens cancelled their participation because they did not agree to perform at the Municipal Theatre, which is indoors and there would have been Covid restrictions for the unvaccinated. The Corfu DIPETHE will support all local performances (choirs etc.) at its own risk. They will take place either at Bosketo, in the People's Garden or at the Old Palace.