Teatru Salesjan renovation gets further €138,000 from Planning Authority fund

PA pledges more funds for completion of Teatru Salesjan renovation works in Sliema

Renovation works underway at Teatru Salesjan
Renovation works underway at Teatru Salesjan

With major renovation works at Teatru Salesjan in Sliema soon drawing to an end, the Planning Authority (PA) through its Development Planning Fund (DPF) has committed a further €138,000 towards the project’s completion.

The renovation work of the theatre, which has been ongoing for the past four years, ensures that the space will meet today’s standards and provide practitioners with a professional set-up. The multi-functional space will also provide a more comfortable environment for audiences of different abilities, age groups and mobilities.

In total, the PA has committed over €230,000 towards this successful project.

“I truly believe that this project is of paramount importance because it relates to education and culture, most of all it is an investment in the Sliema community,” said public works minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi.

Perit Ray Farrugia, chairperson of the PA’s Development Planning Fund said Teatru Salesjan was a landmark space that has served as a place of creativity and entertainment and will make the arts closer to the people. “The financial support we have given for the structural and renovation works within this theatre will in the coming months and years translate into an impactful benefit for the community of Sliema and beyond... with these additional funds we will cover the expenses associated with the rendering of the walls, side garden flooring and planting of new trees, electrical works and auditorium curtains.”

Back in September 2021, the Authority had committed €92,000 to cover expenses associated with the restoration of all apertures surrounding the building, maintenance works to façade including the two stone balconies and renovation of the ornamental metal works along the existing garden along the theatre’s side.

Situated in the residential part of Sliema, Teatru Salesjan is the oldest existing theatre in the locality and one of the oldest working theatres in Malta. Founded in 1908 Teatru Salesjan was a popular source of entertainment for the public.

The 1930s were a pivotal moment in the history of the theatre when Carmelo Galea, a Maltese Salesian Brother, returned to his home country from Modica in Sicily. After his arrival, the theatre increased its artistic output, particularly when it came to music.

After his death in the 1970s, the theatre kept on running under the theatre group Atturi Salesjani, until management eventually changed hands in 2011 and set about refreshing the theatre’s output to what it is today.

Above the Teatru Salesjan proscenium is a very special painting in oil on stone by Maltese artist Giuseppe Calì. The painting depicts The Virtues of Mankind: Faith, Honesty, Morals, Knowledge and Goodness, and was inaugurated in 1910 by Don Allegra.