Teatro Margherita was built to replace the Varietà Margherita, a wooden theater inaugurated on September 5, 1910, which was the subject of violent criticism by both local entrepreneurs, who presented a similar project without obtaining authorization, and by the Petruzzelli family, the owners of the Petruzzelli Theater, which saw in it a potential competitor.
The theater was built between 1912 and 1914 near the Old Port of Bari, on pillars, to escape the pact signed between the City of Bari and the Petruzzelli family, according to which the Municipality was committed not to build other theaters on the municipal ground.
The Margherita Theater was designed in Art Nouveau style by Francesco De Giglio. He collaborated with Luigi Santarella to make the theater the first building in Bari in reinforced concrete, and unique in Europe for the particular construction on pillars. Being entirely surrounded by water, the theater was connected to the mainland by a pier. The inauguration of the theater took place on August 22, 1914.
The theater was damaged during the Second World War, both by the bombing of December 2, 1943, and by the splinters of the explosion of the Henderson ship on April 9, 1945.
The building, whose stylistic influences refer to the Art Nouveau, has a rectangular plan. The facade is characterized by a wide arch flanked by two towers with overhanging pinnacles and by large windows bordered by pilasters with Corinthian capitals.
The interior has a large entrance hall covered by a dome decorated with stucco and frescoes dated to 1914, the same year the theater was inaugurated.
HOW TO GET THERE
The theater is located in Piazza IV Novembre, about 1.2 kilometers away from the Bari Centrale railway station and about 300 meters from the Petruzzelli Theater. To find it on foot, use the map below.