Dedicated to the memory of the great tenor Manuel Salazar Zúñiga or Melico Salazar, whose performances in New York’s City Music Hall and the Scala Theater in Milan, to name a few world culture centers, showed the world the potential of the Costa Rican artist. His golden voice led him to be recognized worldwide, with performances across America and Europe. His last years were spent in Costa Rica, dedicated to teaching his passion, music.
The idea of creating the Melico Salazar Theater came from the Spanish born José Raventós, that to accomplish his dream of being able to play zarzuelas and operettas, decided to buy a land in San José and use it for the construction of the existing theater. José Fabio Garnier Ugalde, playwright and architect, was the person who designed the theater. Construction began on February 8, 1927, and ended with the opening on October 7, 1928 with the representation from the Operetta Society by Esperanza Iris. In 1960 a new gallery was added, which also included a new cinemascope screen.
Some seven years later, in 1967, during the early morning of April 23, a fire destroyed the building. Early in the seventies, the Ministry of Culture and Youth, came up with the idea of buying the theater to renew it, which achieves at a later time. In December 1981 there is a preopening of the theater, but soon after, public access is closed to complete the restoration. The reopening was in March 6, 1985, and in April 7 of the following year, the official government newspaper, “La Gaceta”, announced the law 7023, that gave the Melico Salazar’s theater the position of “specialized cultural institution” of the Costa Rican state.
Its architectural beauty sets the trend in the Baroque style, surrounded by Corinthians pilasters, which enhances the Melico Salazar Theater prominences that adorn its facade. It consists of four levels with stall seats, boxes and the gallery.
At present the Melico Salazar Theater is the popular culture forum in the country, which is complemented by numerous theaters and art galleries, public and private, permanently offering its collection to the national public and, particularly to the capital’s people. Hence, it is one of the most important artistic representations of the country, where high-level performances in the disciplines of theater, dance, multicultural events, classical, traditional and contemporary demonstrations are presented.
Address: On 2nd Av., between Central and 2nd St., district: Catedral, canton: San José, province: San José, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 10104.
GPS Coordinates: 9.933158,-84.079311 (9°55’59.37″N, 84° 4’45.52″W)
Telephone: +(506) 2233-5424, +(506) 2233-5172.
From Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m.