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   The José de Alencar Theatre

   (1908 - 1910) Fortaleza - CE


he José de Alencar Theatre follows the basic design of Lieutenant Bernardo José de Mello. Its metal structures were planned by the architects and engineers of the Scottish foundry Walter MacFarlane & Co. The took the unusual step of designing and eclectic façade on an iron-framed theatre - and innovation for the times.
The Theatre is surrounded by streets but faces onto a square, the Praça José de Alencar, and stands well in the company of prestigious buildings of the same time.
The façade is composed at ground-floor level of four central apertures; a small portico with tuscan columns projects forward, and each lateral pavilion has another three apertures. The upper storey terraced at front and sides, and is topped by a triangular pediment in eclectic taste.
The building is in four parts. The front part is occupied by the vestibule and adjuncts on the ground floor and the foyer above. Then follows the internal courtyard. The third part is formed by the four-tier hall, and last comes the stage area.
The Theatre was totally restored in 1974. The metal structures were carefully reconstituted; modern ventilation, lighting and scenery systems were installed; the Austrian chairs have been refurbished and the courtyard garden redesigned by landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx.

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